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Number of Indian coal block cancellations rises

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World Coal,

Some of India’s biggest companies – included Tata, Jindal Steel and Power and Adani Power – are among those to have their coal block allocations cancelled by the Indian Ministry of Coal over delays in developing them. In total, 31 blocks are expected to be cancelled, up from 10 originally announced earlier this month.

“The ministry has already sent notices to a number of companies about the de-allocation,” said a coal ministry spokesman. “Some others will be intimated soon.”

STORY Indian government cancels coal block allocations

The move puts billions of dollars of investment in question. The Tata Group and Jindal Steel were planning to spend US$ 10 billion each to develop coal-to-oil projects with anticipated production of up to 80,000 barrels per day. A Jindal Steel spokesperson called the decision “most unfair” and blamed the federal and state governments for the slow progress of the projects: "The coal ministry took 18 months to decide the boundary of the coal block and secondly, the state government, over the past three years, has not even granted the prospecting licence."

"We'll challenge this decision in a court of law," the spokesperson concluded.

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The de-allocated blocks will now be given to Coal of India Ltd, the state-owned coal miner, but may be offered to other developers at a later date, the coal ministry said.

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