UN­DER­GROUND COAL MIN­ING THE BEST OP­TION: UK EX­PERT

Resource Digest - - NEWS -

AUK ex­pert on coal min­ing feels In­dia will be bet­ter off go­ing in for un­der­ground min­ing of coal rather than re­strict­ing it­self to sur­face min­ing. This will not only help it meets its grow­ing coal de­mand for power gen­er­a­tion, but also en­able greater mech­a­ni­sa­tion and re­duce en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion caused by sur­face min­ing.

Ad­dress­ing a ple­nary ses­sion on “Sus­tain­abil­ity: pros­per­ity that pre­serves re­sources and lim­its emis­sions” at the sum­mit, David John­son, Non-ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man of Har­g­reaves Min­ing In­dia Ltd, said proven tech­nol­ogy for ef­fi­cient un­der­ground coal min­ing was avail­able else­where in the world.

In­dia had plans to more than dou­ble, by 2020, the quan­tity of coal mined from about 600 mil­lion tonnes a year now.

John­son said nearly 95 per cent of coal mined in China was un­der­ground, while in the US and Aus­tralia, it ac­counted for half the coal mined.

IN­DIA UN­DER­GROUND MIN­ING

In In­dia, there was hardly any un­der­ground coal min­ing, in sharp con­trast to the 1970s, when all of the 70 mil­lion tonnes of coal pro­duced an­nu­ally was through un­der­ground min­ing.

Un­der­ground coal was of bet­ter qual­ity, there were added en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits, with less land re­quired than sur­face min­ing, and the cost of restor­ing the land too, was not much.

He said the pub­lic sec­tor’s progress on mech­a­ni­sa­tion was slow, while he ex­pected the pri­vate sec­tor to go in for greater mech­a­ni­sa­tion. Har­g­reaves Min­ing had signed an agree­ment for un­der­ground min­ing in In­dia, he said, with­out pro­vid­ing de­tails.

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