Sun may set on Coal India monopoly; govt to invite bids from global miners


Sun may set on Coal India monopoly; govt to invite bids from global miners

The government plans to invite bids from global firms for the first time for coal mining blocks before end-2019, sources familiar with the matter said, a move that would end Coal India’s near-monopoly on the fuel as the nation tries to cut imports.

Coal is among the top five commodities imported by India, one of the world’s largest consumers of the fuel. Coal imports are surging after the government failed to open the industry to competition, despite having passed a liberalisation policy 19 months ago.

The coal block auctions are intended to attract global miners such as Glencore, BHP Group, Anglo American and Peabody Energy.

The government aims to allow companies with winning bids to begin development of the coal blocks — which hold proven reserves — by early 2020, the three sources said. It is not clear when the government expects to see first output from the coal blocks. The coal ministry did not respond to a request for comment. Read More

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