Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) is in contention for receiving environment clearance (EC) for its three coal projects. This comes after the proposal sent by the miner was approved by Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) formed under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
The company received approval for an amendment in EC for expansion of Kulda opencast mine from production capacity of 19.6 million tonnes (mnt) to 21 mnt annually.
The proposal was made regarding relaxation of road transportation due to non-implementation of in-pit conveyor with silo loading system required for coal movement.
EAC, in its verdict, has extended the permission for road transportation till October, 2023, but directed the miner to install conveyer and silo loading system without which no further capacity expansion would be entertained.
Similarly, MCL's Garjanbahal project was recommended for an expansion in production capacity from 13 mnt to 13.6 mnt annually, after it had also faced constraints regarding road transportation.
Meanwhile, Belpahar opencast mine of MCL received nod for extension in EC validity. The company had obtained EC for expansion in mining capacity from 6 mnt to 9 mnt, valid against life of mine till 2023.
However, it was found that the coal mine had extracted lesser coal than the granted EC capacity. It led to a shortfall in production to the tune of 6.52 mnt annually between 2018-2022 period.
Based on the deliberations, EAC recommended the extension of validity for Belpahar project for another year till 2023-24.
On the back of robust performance, MCL has retained its status of being the largest coal producing subsidiary of Coal India Ltd (CIL) for the ongoing fiscal (FY23).
The company registered a strong growth of 18% y-o-y in coal production to 137.7 mnt during April-December, 2022. The volume exceeds by around 31 mnt than its nearest competitor, South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL).
Interestingly, a total of 14 mines of MCL including the likes of Kulda, Garjanbahar and Belpahara feature in CIL's list of 'Top 37' mega mines.
During April-December, 2022, the CIL mega mines produced 368.66 mnt. Out of this, contribution of MCL mines was 37%.