Coal India to close 37 mines

Public sector miner Coal India has decided to close 37 unviable underground coal mines and re-deploy manpower from the sites to cut losses suffered on lifting coal from these mines.

By Our Bureau
  • Published 11.06.17
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Calcutta, June 10: Public sector miner Coal India has decided to close 37 unviable underground coal mines and re-deploy manpower from the sites to cut losses suffered on lifting coal from these mines.

In a communication to bourses, Coal India said the company and its subsidiaries undertake an exercise every year to assess the performance of the mines.

At a review meeting with the coal major and its subsidiaries, the coal ministry has found out that a sizeable number of mines are unable to recover the salary of workers. Accordingly the miner was asked to conduct a detailed study of such mines and report the action taken regarding them.

"In view of the above, an action plan has been prepared by subsidiaries in which 37 unviable UG (underground) mines have been envisaged to be closed in 2017-18," CIL said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

"The identified surplus manpower from these mines would be gainfully redeployed in nearby mine areas to reduce further loss in these mines," it said.

According to a disclosure to the BSE in April, Coal India had said that of 413 mines it owns, 176 are open cast mines, 207 are underground mines and 30 are mixed mines.

However, bulk of Coal India's production comes from open cast mines. Industry sources said the exercise to cut down production from the identified mines could yield savings of around Rs 800 crore for the miner.

Besides high cost, difficult geo-mining conditions, non-availability of large size deposits for adopting mass production technologies, inadequate experience in mechanisation of underground mines, dependence on imported equipment for mass production technologies and long gestation periods are some of the hindrances to augmenting production from underground mines.

Coal India's provisional production in 2016-17 was 554.13 million tonnes against a target of 598.61 million tonnes and recording a growth rate of 2.9 per cent. Of this underground mining contributed to around 31 million tonnes.

Coal India has set a production target of 661 million tonnes for 2017-18 from a combination of its active and future projects.

The public sector miner has identified 121 major ongoing projects expected to produce 561 million tonnes in 2020.