The major state-run coal company has announced that it is exploring green mining options to minimize negative environmental impact by leveraging a host of environmentally friendly technologies in its underground mines (UG ) and in the open (OC).
With land proving to be a major issue for the expansion of coal mining operations, these technologies bypass land acquisition and avoid land degradation. Coal assets previously blocked due to technical, commercial and security issues can now be discovered through these technologies, Coal India (CIL) said.
CIL plans to quadruple its UG production to 100 million tons by FY2030, from 25.6 million tons in FY2022. UG production is environmentally clean, minimally invasive on land degradation and respectful of society. About 70% of the country’s coal reserves are suitable for UG mining.
The goal is for UG production to significantly complement OC production. At the current rate, exploitable coal reserves at the existing OC will slowly begin to decline. Among mass production technologies, CIL will introduce 50 continuous miners by FY2025 with a peak production potential of 25 million tons per year. 21 machines of this type are already deployed in ECL, CCL and SECL producing 9 million tons per year.
CIL aims to extract coal by punch entry in OC mines that have reached their ultimate pit level. This could be done through a mix of technologies. The company plans to identify and implement 5 such mines through point entry in a phased manner through fiscal year 2024. So that mineable coal assets can be mined in an economically viable manner.
CIL plans to deploy 10 high wall machines at its OC mines in the current fiscal year with an expected production potential of 5 million tonnes per year. With one such project already operational in SECL, three more will soon be operational in ECL. A highwall machine involves a capex of Rs 200 cr.
Coal India is a mining company specializing in the production and sale of coal. As of March 31, 2022, the Indian government held 66.13% of the capital while Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India held 11% of the company’s capital.
On a consolidated basis, coal major PSU’s net profit jumped 45.9% to Rs 6,692.94 crore on a 22.6% increase in net sales to Rs 30,046.25 crore in Q4 FY22 compared to T4 FY21.
Shares of Coal India rose 1.69% to Rs 183.10 on BSE.
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