Coal India may float tenders for abandoned 18 mines in April

"Not much progress has been made on tenders as our hands at present are quite full. Probably, we will now come out with tenders in April," Coal India CMD Partha S Bhattacharya told PTI.

In December last year, the coal major said it would float the tenders in January this year. The 18 abandoned underground mines are owned by three of its subsidiaries in partnership with private players.

The firm had said underground mining would be revived in six abandoned mines of Eastern Coalfields, eight mines of Bharat Coking Coal and four mines of Central Coalfields. Last fiscal, Coal India received expressions of interest from 12 parties to form 50:50 joint ventures for re-opening the 18 abandoned mines.

Among the parties in the fray were global majors such as ArcelorMittal, Rio Tinto and Titan Mining (Australia). This apart, Reliance Natural Resources, Sterlite, JSW Steel, Monnet Ispat, Essar Steel, a joint venture of SAIL and Tata group and Andhra Pradesh-based GVK Power had also submitted EoIs.

Coal India had sought relaxation in the national coal distribution policy to allow the private partner -- which was expected to play the lead role in managing the projects and bringing the technology -- to export 50 per cent of the coal produced from such projects.

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