State-owned coal mining company Coal India has secured approvals for seven mines and two washeries


The ministry has also cleared four coal washeries. Credit: Pixabay/PublicDomainPictures.

India’s environment ministry has given approval to 10 coal mining projects that will have a total production capacity of 160 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa).

The ministry has also cleared four coal washeries that will have a capacity to handle 31Mtpa.

State-owned coal mining firm Coal India has secured approvals for seven mines and two washeries, which will have capacities of 141Mtpa and 15Mtpa respectively, reported The Economic Times.

The clearance could enable Coal India, one of the world’s biggest coal mining companies, to reach its production target of 750 million tonnes set for the next fiscal year, a senior company executive told the publication.

The largest among the coal projects cleared by the ministry is Coal India subsidiary South Eastern Coalfields’ Kusmunda opencast coal mine in Chhattisgarh. The mine will have a peak production capacity of 62.5 million tonnes.

The Rajmahal opencast coal mine project of Eastern Coalfields in Jharkhand has also been given go ahead by the ministry. It will have a yearly production capacity of nearly 24 million tonnes.

Coal India has also secured approvals for Mahanadi Coalfields’ Lakhanpur opencast project in Odisha’s Jharsuguda district. With an annual capacity of 21 million tonnes, the mine has been approved to operate for 30 years to 2050.

The ministry has also approved Northern Coalfields’ Dudhichua opencast project in Uttar Pradesh’s Sonebhadra district and Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli district. The coal mining project has been given clearance to produce 17.5Mtpa of coal till 2050.

Other approved projects include Kulda opencast project in Odisha’s Sundargarh district, Adasa underground opencast mine in Maharashtra, and Khairaha underground mine project in Madhya Pradesh.

India opens up coal mining sector to attract foreign investment

In a bid to attract investments in coal mining, the Indian government has opened up the sector for commercial mining by lifting restrictions on end-use.

The government has approved the promulgation of Mineral Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2020, to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) in the coal mining sector.

The ordinance is expected to result in the launch of the first phase of coal auction during the current fiscal.