Coal India is reportedly planning to implement a new technology from Australian companies, to extract around two billion tons of coal from its underground mines.

The company has been using bord and pillar method at around 230 of its projects, to protect them from caving in.

Around 40 million tons of coal is said to be locked in the pillars at each mine.

Coal India officials were quoted by The Economic Times as saying that the new technology will allow the company to unlock over 70% additional coal from its mines.

Using the new technology, the company plans to fill gaps left in pillars with fly-ash, which is generated by thermal power stations.

The technique could allow Coal India to meet its production target of one billion tons by 2020.

Coal India operates 230 underground mines, which produced 36 million tons of coal during 2013 – 14. The company produced 426 million tons from its open-cast mines.