Kolkata: Coal India, which is looking to rationalise its underground mines in view of safety and financial viability, could close about 53 such mines this year, its Chairman Anil Kumar Jha said on Wednesday.
“About 43 underground mines were closed last year on grounds of safety and viability. We have inherited many underground mines at the time of nationalisation. That time there were more than 700 mines. Now with each passing day we are trying to rationalize mines which are small and not financially viable. For some of the mines we are trying to amalgamate and turn some of them into opencast,” he said.
“We have given a project to Indian School of Mines to give us a solution about how the underground mines can be managed by closing or by amalgamating or converting into opencast. This exercise is going on,” said Jha, adding that a report is expected in six months.
Coal India Ltd (CIL) has undertaken rail infrastructure projects for planned growth in production and sales and as many as 13 projects for coal evacuation have been identified, he said.
He said two coking coal washeries were commissioned and plans are on the anvil to set up a non-coking coal washery in Odisha’s Ib-Valley for which a letter of intention was issued.
“Coal India is tasked with meeting challenging targets in the years ahead. Going forward in order to meet the production targets, it needs to step up its growth rate. (IANS)