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Coal lab help in mining abroad

Dhanbad, March 4: If Bangladesh places its foot successfully in its maiden venture in coal mining, it would certainly leave a note of thanks to Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research.

The Dhanbad-based laboratory, under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, is extending technical expertise to Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited at Dinajpur under Bangladesh Mineral Oil and Gas Corporation to enhance mining.

The coal mining company was approved in 1993 after coal deposit was discovered in Barapukuria in 1985. Though the estimated coal reserve there is 390 million tonnes but 64 million tonnes was found to be worth mining in the first phase. To mine the underground highly volatile bituminous coal with modern technology, Bangladesh entered into a six-year pact with a Chinese company — China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation — in 2005 and outsourced mining to the company. The company with longwall techniques has been producing 4,000 tonnes of coal per day.

According to the Sino-Bangladesh pact, China, after completing mining, would hand over the Barapukuria mine to Bangladesh in June 2011. But of late, the company is facing difficulty in mining at some of the faces where carbon monoxide has sealed working faces of mines. CIMFR, being an expert to deal with such a situation, had reopened ECL’s Jhanjra coal mines in Burdwan district of Bengal in 2000 within seven months using chamber ventilation method.

Recently, the Barapukuria company invited CIMFR to build a long-term relationship for technological exchange and mutual benefit. P. Pal Roy, the head of the department of blasting division of CIMFR, paid a six-day field visit to Bangladesh from February 24 to March 1.

Roy said: “Mining is highly mechanised there unlike those of the coal belt here and work is being carried in an organised way, even in underground. But workers here lack mining skills. I had discussions with the officials and the company expressed its interest in a collaborative work with CIMFR. They want to take CIMFR as their technical consultant in areas of management training, long-wall mining, drilling-blasting technology, ventilation and environmental impact and assessment and environmental management planning. A team of the Bangladesh corporation will also visit CIMFR.”

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