South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), a subsidiary of Coal India, has secured environmental clearance for its Gevra mine.

The permit allows the company to expand the mine’s production capacity to 70 million tonnes (mt) per annum, up from the current 52.5mt.

Additionally, the expansion positions the Gevra mine to become the largest coal mine in Asia.

The Gevra mine, a significant project for SECL, became the country’s largest coal mine last year with an annual output of 52.5mt for the fiscal year 2022–23.

For over four decades, the Gevra mine has played a crucial role in contributing to the nation’s energy security.

With length of around 10km and breadth of 4km, the mine has implemented eco-friendly, blast-free mining technologies including Surface Miner and Ripper Mining.

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In addition to these technologies, the mine utilises some of the highest-capacity heavy earth moving machinery available, such as 42m³ shovels and 240t dumpers for overburden removal.

The mine also has first-mile connectivity with a conveyor belt system, silos, and a rapid loading system to ensure swift and environmentally friendly coal transportation.

SECL CMD Prem Sagar Misha said: ‘Under the guidance of Ministry of Coal, a historic milestone has been achieved by Coal India team today.

“We have a vision for Gevra to become the largest coal mine in the world with state-of-art mining operations and this is a significant milestone towards that journey.”

Last month, Coal India unveiled plans to bid for three blocks in a critical minerals auction.

The auction’s first part was launched in November last year, with an aim to garner around Rs450bn ($5.42bn) in total.