SMM: according to news on January 8, an Indian minister said that from March, India will lift restrictions on domestic coal mining and relax bidding rules to attract global mining companies and reduce India's imports of such fossil fuels.
After the cabinet approved the plan, Pralhad Joshi, India's coal minister, said India planned to launch a global tender for coal mining blocks in March. The move is likely to put an end to the current near-monopoly of coal by (Coal India Ltd.), a state-owned Indian coal company. The purpose of the tender is to attract global mining companies, such as Glencore (Glencore Plc.), BHP Billiton Group (BHP Group), Anglo American Resources Group (Anglo American Plc.) and Peabody Energy Company (Peabody Energy Corp.).
Previously, the government had restricted the end-use of fuel, and the winners of coal block mining rights auctions were only allowed to use the coal produced for specific purposes and not to sell it on the open market. There have been 99 auctions of mining rights in coal blocks since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014; only 29 of these projects have attracted bids from companies. Minister Pralhad Joshi said that it was this restriction that led to fewer companies participating in the auction and that consideration would now be given to lifting the restriction.
Minister Pralhad Joshi also said that at present, the Indian government has amended the Mining Act in order to quickly mine at the site where the lease expires to avoid iron ore shortages. In addition, the revised law will also promote the exploration and bidding of "deep minerals such as gold and diamonds".
A government spokesman said the plan still needs to be approved by the president and more details will be provided later.
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