June 6, 2020
The three new coal mines possess a combined production capacity of 2.9 million tonnes per year
WLC will invest US$112 million in the mines, with plans to produce 75 million tonnes by 2023-24
WLC is planning 20 projects in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, creating over 14,000 jobs by 2024
CIL is using technology to boost efficiency to reach India’s coal output target of 1 billion tonnes
India’s commercial coal mining capacity has increased with Western Coalfields Ltd (WLC), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL), on June 6 announced the opening of three new coal mines in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The new mines possess a combined annual production capacity of 2.9 million tonnes, contributing towards the larger national coal production targets. WLC intends to direct US$112 million as capital expenditure for these projects, which are set to not only create direct employment opportunities but also support India’s aim to boost output capacity in the next five years.
WCL plans to produce 75 million tonnes of coal by 2023-24, which will directly support Coal India in achieving 1 billion tonnes of total coal production in the same period. The three new mines are the first of 20 projects in the pipeline for Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh as part of the ‘Mission 100 Days’ roadmap to achieve production targets. By 2024, various projects in these two states will create direct employment for over 14,000 people. In addition, WLC has been leveraging technology to improve the efficiency of the coal sector through state-of-the-art surveillance systems for the monitoring of mining operations and platforms for easy connectivity between internal and external stakeholders.
A global leader in coal production, CIL has earlier announced an output target of 710 million tonnes for the current fiscal year, with plans to maintain production despite disruptions faced by the coal mining sector during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Ministry of Coal foresees a rise in global demand for coal once the COVID-19 lockdown eases, and has hence stressed on the need for continuous coal production throughout this year, with specific reference to challenges expected during monsoon season. The Government has focused on ensuring the continued availability of quality coal to all consumers, with the reassurance of adequate support in meeting the necessary demand.