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Coal India's Western Coalfields Open Three New Mines



June 7, 2020 - In India, Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) on Saturday opened three new coal mines in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh having combined annual production capacity of 2.9 million tonnes (MT).

The company will spend Rs 849 crore on these projects and generate 647 direct employment. Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated the mines through video conferencing, an official statement said.

The company also launched a surveillance system named WCL EYE for monitoring its mining operations and a mobile application named SAMVAAD to connect with its employees and stakeholders.

“WCL has to produce 75 MT of coal by FY 23-24. Opening of these mines will certainly add in the efforts of the company reaching this milestone and also help Coal IndiaNSE 3.28 % achieve one billion tonnes (BT) coal production target by FY 23-24.” Joshi said.

He announced that different subsidiaries of Coal India have given Rs 20 crore to the government of Madhya Pradesh to strengthen its fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the state. Coal India will also give Rs 20 crore soon to the government of Maharashtra for strengthening its cause against COVID-19, it said.

The three mines WCL has opened are Adasa Mine, an underground to open cast mine, in Nagpur Area of Maharashtra, Sharda underground Mine in Kanhan Area and Dhankasa underground mine in Pench Area of Madhya Pradesh. The annual coal production capacity of Adasa mine is 1.5 MT whereas Sharda and Dhankasa mines have annual coal production capacities of 0.4 MT and 1 MT respectively.

The digital surveillance system WCL EYE will monitor operations of 15 major mines of the company that account for 70% of the company’s coal production. It will also help monitor coal stocks and availability of coal at sidings, keep a tab on placement of rakes and loading at railway sidings and ensure accountability.

SAMVAAD will provide a virtual platform for suggestion/feedback/experience sharing by stakeholders. Quick Response Teams will respond to the queries and feedbacks in 7 days mandated period.

WCL has launched “Mission 100 Days” a roadmap to achieve targets for the current fiscal. This mission will also help the company accomplish mid and long-term goals. The company’s coal production and offtake targets for the current fiscal is 62 MT.

“Opening of these three mines is a part of WCL’s future plan to start 20 new projects by FY 23-24 including 14 in Maharashtra and 6 in Madhya Pradesh. The company will make total capital expenditure of Rs. 12753 crores on these projects and generate over 14000 direct employment” Joshi said.

The company has already opened 20 new and expansion projects in the last six years with over Rs 5300 crores of capital expenditure and 5250 direct employment to land losers.

WCL had produced 57.64 MT of Coal in FY 19-20, up over 8% in comparison to the last fiscal.