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Centre to cancel coal mines if projects delayed

Delays in implementation of projects may now cost steel and power companies their captive coal mines. The coal ministry plans to cancel coal mines allotted to these companies if there is an inordinate delay in the development of captive mines.

The move aims to ensure that captive mines meet 20% of the 600-million-tonne production target by 2011-12.
At present, captive coal production is minuscule. The ministry intends to weed out non-serious players having captive blocks.

It will review progress in each block and take a decision, said industry sources. Captive mines are awarded to companies with a condition to start production within 36-54 months. Some industry players, however, blame the current global economic slowdown for delays in executing projects.

The ministry also suggested that holders of captive mines could invite strategic investors for developing these blocks.

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