India's Vedanta, Hindalco among winners of country's coal mine auctions

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the logo of Vedanta outside its headquarters in Mumbai, India January 31, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

CHENNAI (Reuters) - India's Vedanta Ltd VDAN.NS and Hindalco Industries Ltd HALC.NS were among the first private companies chosen to operate coal mines in the country without end-use restrictions, the government said on Monday.

The world’s second largest consumer of coal, India allocated 38 coal mines for auction to the private sector, offering financial incentives to attract investment and reduce imports.

The auctions are conducted in two stages, the first of which is the submission of a technical bid, evaluated by the coal ministry. The bidders who qualify then submit financial bids in which they detail what percentage of revenue would be paid to the government.

No technical bids were received for 15 of the 38 mines.

On the first day of the auctions, final offers for 5 mines with an annual production capacity of 13.75 million tonnes ranged from 10.5% to 30.75%, the coal ministry said. Vedanta won the biggest mine with an annual production capacity of 6 million tonnes.

“In all the mines auctioned, the final offer received is above 10% signalling strong demand of coal mines in the market,” the coal ministry said.

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Kirsten Donovan