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CIL arm to see viability of merger of two mines of NTPC

Wednesday, 27 May 2020
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The Central Mine Planning & Design Institute (CMPDIL), consultancy arm of Coal India (CIL), has been roped in by NTPC to make separate mining plans for Banai and Bhalumuda coal mines in Chhattisgarh with an aim to maximise the extractable reserves by merging operations of the two mines.
The Coal Ministry had asked NTPC to prepare separate mining plans for both the blocks.
In March 2018, NTPC asked the Coal Ministry to consider merger of these mines. After pursuing it for the past two years, in February 2020 the Coal Ministry asked NTPC for separate mining plans and asked the PSU to try for more mine capacity. 
The two mines were are unexplored at the time of allocation to NTPC and the power PSU carried out detailed exploration and prepared geological reports by engaging CMPDIL.
As per the preliminary estimates before exploration, total extractable reserve assessed by the Coal Ministry was about 1,000 million tonne from these two mines. However, after the preparation of geological reports, it was found that total extractable reserves from both the blocks will be 500 million tonne due to difficult geo-mining conditions.
But when NTPC consulted CMPDIL it noted if both the blocks were merged they could produce an additional 125 million tonne.
Both the coal blocks in Chhattisgarh are adjacent to each other and facing difficulty in dumping of overburden as the areas surrounding the blocks are coal bearing and NTPC could not get such land from Coal India.
Moreover, the stripping ratio of these blocks is also very high, more than 7.5 cu mtr per tonne, thus necessitating more area for overburden dumping.
Both the blocks were allotted to NTPC in March 2015 and production is expected by 2022-23 if the Coal Ministry allows combined operation of these two mines by September 2020.


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