The Singareni Collieries Company Limited plans to take up work on the Naini coal block in Odisha this fiscal following the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests in-principle nod for the conversion of 783 hectares of forest land.
This will be the State-owned mining company’s first coal block outside Telangana.
The MoEF, in a communication to Odisha government, has informed that it has accorded in-principle nod for the conversion of the 783 acres of forest land in Angul Forest division. While the mining project requires 912.7 hactares, of this 783.27 hectares requires MoEF mandatory permissions. Of the 783 hectares, 643 hectares comes under the reserve forest area and the rest of the 140.18 hectares is in the village and overlapping forest areas.
N Sridhar, Chairman and Managing Director, has been relentlessly following on the project clearances with the Centre and the Odisha governments after a successful public hearing, where local politicians and people have extended support to the project.
Over the past few years, apart from expanding its own existing mines, and taking up new mines within the State, Singareni Collieries has been in pursuit of new mines in other States.
The company had completed public hearing for Naini coal blocks in January 2021. It has initially targeted 10 lakh tonnes of coal production during 2021-22.
The Naini coal block has estimated total coal reserves of 340 million tonnes of high grade coal. The company hinted that it plans to mine about 10 million tonnes of coal per year for the next 34 years.
As opposed to overburden removal of about 6-7 cubic meters per ton of coal, the Naini open cast mine is likely to need about 3 cubic meters of overburden removal, making it financially beneficial. The mining company is considering to set up a washery with a capacity of 80 lakh tonnes per year.