Coal India has signed a contract with US-based mining equipment maker P&H for the procurement and supply of heavy mining equipment.

The contract, worth INR5.9bn ($130m), includes acquisition of two 42 cubic metre shovels and 17 years of maintenance and repair services.

Coal India Chairman Partha Bhattacharyya told The Business Standard that the equipment will help the firm to stop outsourcing overburden removal.

The firm will set up the shovels in its south-eastern coalfields to maintain productivity levels.

The firm has also placed 16 new dumpers worth INR2.56bn ($60m), to evacuate the coal mined from these shovels.

The shovels will be delivered to Coal India within 14 months.