CIL may shut 53 mines on safety grounds

The state-run coal behemoth, Coal India is mulling closing down of as many as 53 mines on ground of safety and financial viability, CIL chairman Anil Kumar Jha said on Wednesday.  CIL is looking at rationalising its underground mines in view of safety and financial viability, anyways. Jha said that CIL had given a project to Indian School of Mines to come up with a solution on how the underground mines can be managed-either by closing or by amalgamating or by converting them into open case mines. The exercise is going on and a report in this regard is expected over the next six months.

"Nearly 43 underground mines were closed last year on grounds of safety and viability. We’ve inherited many underground mines at the time of nationalisation. Back then there were more than 700 mines. Now we are trying to rationalise small mines which are not financially viable. Some of the mines we are trying to amalgamate and turn them into opencast,” he said.

Addressing the 44th annual general meeting of the company, Jha said that annual grade declaration of the current fiscal was finalised by the Coal Controller Office. Meanwhile, a total of 386 mines were reassessed and out of these, 61 mines were downgraded and 42 mines were upgraded. He said that altogether 11 coal blocks have been allotted to Eastern Coalfields, Bharat Coking Coal and Western Coalfields and these new blocks will help these subsidiaries produce more than 100 million tonne of coal per annum in the near future. In order to monitor coal quality, Jha said, a portal UTTAM (unlocking transparency by third party assessment of mined coal) was launched by the miner to capture the entire life cycle of sample.