Coal auction: JP Cement bids highest for Maharashtra mine

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) JP Cement emerged as the highest bidder at Rs.1,230 per tonne for the Majra mine in Maharashtra as coal auctions resumed on Thursday with this sole block up for bidding after a day of auctions was stalled by legal and safety issues.

“J P Cements bids the highest 1230 for Majra Coal Block,” tweeted Coal Secretary Anil Swarup.

“Bidding for Majra Coal Block continues even after initial 2 hour stipulated time. Stands at 814,” he tweeted earlier of the mine which had an auction floor price of Rs.800.

“Total proceeds to host state Rs.1835.26 crore,” the coal ministry said in a message at the close of the Majra auction.

The Majra mine has extractable reserves of 14.92 million tonnes (MT), for which firms like ACC, Crest Steel and Power, Emami Cement, Grace Industries, JP Cement and JK Lakshmi Cement were in the race.

The government on Wednesday deferred auction of Chitarpur coal mine in Jharkhand because of a court case, while the Parbatpur Central mine in Jharkhand, slated for bidding on Thursday, has been withdrawn from the process on representation that it contains gas.

The situation left only the Majra mine up for bidding on Thursday in the ongoing third round of auction of coal blocks whose allotments were cancelled last September by the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, the first day, of the third round of auctions, Topworth Urja and Metals Ltd emerged as the highest bidder for the Marki Mangli 1 coal block in Maharashtra, while Crest Steel bid the most for the Bhaskarpara mines in Chhattisgarh.

Marki Mangli-I mine, with extractable reserves of 9.96 MT, was unsold in the previous round. Bhaskarpara’s extractable reserves are 24.06 MT.

The auction of 10 mines will take place in this round, including six offered earlier but failing to find takers.

The mines up for auction are all “captive” category, for use by the unregulated sector to manufacture products like cement, aluminium, steel and iron.

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