India considers relaxing regulations to attract global coal miners

India considers relaxing regulations to attract global coal miners The Indian government is planning to float global tenders for the first time for coal mining blocks before the end of the year, sources told Reuters.

According to them, the auctions are intended to attract global miners such as Glencore, BHP, Anglo American and Peabody Energy.

New Delhi is seeking to reduce the upfront payments of around ten percent of the estimated value of blocks that have been awarded, said Vinod Kumar Tiwari, additional secretary at India‘s Ministry of Coal.“We are thinking of lowering that,” Tiwari said, without specifying by how much.

According to another coal ministry official, a final roadmap will only be ready after a meeting of top government officials.

The coal ministry said last month that the government is considering making investing in coal more attractive to bidders by carving out bigger blocks.

“The big mining companies might not be interested as you don‘t have much flexibility selling this coal outside India,” said an unnamed executive at a large Indian miner.

“It will all depend on the tenders. If they make it too rigid and too tight, without giving any margins, then foreign parties won‘t come,” he explained.

In August, the government allowed 100 percent foreign investment in coal mining and contract manufacturing.

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