Coal India hopes to begin mining at 13 new coal blocks by 2014

Coal mine

Government-owned Coal India (CIL) said it hopes to start coal mining from 13 out of 119 undeveloped blocks by 2014.

In August 2008, CIL requested the allocation of 138 mines to boost production of coal and counter declining production in India.

Coal India chairman and managing director Narsing Rao told the Press Trust of India that the ministry has now allotted 119 coal blocks to the firm.

"Of them, we can produce coal from 13 in one or two years. There should be exploration first. Thirteen are explored and are in advanced stage.

"Maybe in one or two years, one can start production but the balance, there are various stages, exploration, project report, infrastructure, besides the issues like whether the area falls in tiger zone or elephant zone," Rao added.

Coal India produced 435.84 million tonnes of coal in the 2011-2012 fiscal period and plans to produce 464 million tonnes in the current one.

CIL expects to increase coal production to 615 million tonnes by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan in 2016-17.

The firm currently owns 466 mines and has identified 142 new projects, including 35 underground and 107 open cast mines.

Image: CIL plans to boost coal production in India. Photo: Kjetil r.