Kolkata: Coal India Ltd (CIL) in order to protect its bottomline has decided to close down the loss-making underground mines.
“We are looking at closing down underground mines (UG) which are loss making. To begin with, we are planning to target mines which are losing Rs3,000 and above per tonne of coal extracted from underground mines,” CIL chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya told PTI.
There would be some 30-40 UG mines which are losing Rs3000 or more per tonne of coal. Currently there are 120-130 loss-making UG mines out of the total 273 UG mines.
“The number of loss-making UG mines has come down from 170-180 after the prices of coal were increased in some high grade UG coal mines of Eastern Coalfields,” Bhattacharyya said.
The coal production from underground mines has stagnated to around 44 million tonnes per annum which is around 10% of the total coal production.
CIL had planned to increase underground coal production from 43.32 million tonnes in 2006-07 to 54.56 million tonnes in 2010-11 to 66.63 million tonnes by 2011-12.
CIL proposed to develop eight UG coal blocks with estimated reserves of one billion tonnes through PPP mode.
CIL Director (technical) N C Jha said progress in developing these blocks could not progress well due to objections from private companies pertaining to some terms and condition.
“Now, we have begun mending the terms to make it more attractive to private investors to develop mining operations,” he said.