India to reopen coal commercial mining to private players

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Government plans to open commercial coal mining to private players for the first time in over four decades and a process has been initiated to identify such mines.

“We are preparing groundwork for commercial mining… We are looking at a few mines and the work has been undertaken to identify mines,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said.
The ministry is working towards creating a platform (for commercial mining) “in the next 3-4 months”, he added. This would be the first time in over 40 years that the government would throw open the auction to private players. This follows another decision taken last month to allow the state utilities to commercially mine coal and sell to the private companies.

Swarup had earlier said the auction of coal blocks for commercial mining is likely to happen in the current financial year and the details were being worked out. The government has set a target to double the coal production to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2020.

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