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Coal India to recommence production from closed mines

The company has identified 12 such mines

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Coal India, Bharat Coking Coal, Eastern Coalfields, Closed mines, Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, Ranchi

Coal India (CIL), an Indian public sector coal mining company, is readying a strategy to restart production from underground mines where mining was discontinued due to several challenges.

The company has identified 12 such mines with provisional mineable reserves of around 1,060 million tonne. Of these 12 mines, eight belong to Eastern Coalfields (ECL) and the remaining four falls under Bharat Coking Coal (BCCL), spread over the states of West Bengal and Jharkhand.

The project is on the drawing board, but CIL aims to begin the process soon to bring these mines back to active production.

The coal mining company is keen to fast track the issue once the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI), its mine consultancy arm which has been entrusted to prepare a data dossier, submits its report on feasibility.

These mines were discontinued due to difficult geo-mining conditions, economic unviability and non-availability of suitable methods to extract deep-seated reserves at the time. Some of the mines discontinued date back to more than 20 years.

While the eight mines of ECL have projected reserves of around 596 million tonne, the four mines of BCCL add up to 464 million tonne. ECL mines have coal of varying grades between G3 and G7 with one mine having coking coal, which is used in steel making. All the four mines of BCCL are coking coal reserves which are scarce in the country.

The Ranchi-based CMPDI will prepare the study on sufficiency of extractable reserves in consultation with the concerned subsidiary coal companies to prepare a detailed list for revisiting the discontinued mines for production.

Subsequently, coal companies will float tenders as per their requirement to engage suitable Mine Developer and Operators (MDO) and others having requisite technical knowhow to pursue the operations on their behalf.

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