Coal India's consultancy arm CMPDIL (Central Mine Planning ad Design Institute) has been appointed by NTPC to make separate mining plans for Banai and Bhalumuda coal mines in Chhattisgarh. This is being done to try and maximise the extractable reserves by merging operations of the two mines.
An official said "In March 2018, NTPC requested the coal ministry to consider merger of these mines. After pursuing it for the past two years, in February this year, the coal ministry asked NTPC for separate mining plans for both the blocks and asked the PSU to try for more mine capacity."
Another official privy to the development informed that the two mines were unexplored at the time of allocation to NTPC. Consequently, power PSU carried out detailed exploration and prepared geological reports by engaging CMPDIL, a mini ratna company. The latter concluded that if both the blocks were merged they could produce an additional 125 million tonne of total extractable reserve, way higher than the preliminary estimates of about 1000 million tonne and post-geological exploration reports of 500 million tonne, respectively.
“Since the stripping ratio of these blocks is more than 7.5 cubic metre per tonne, it entails to have more area for overburden lapping”, the official added.
Both the blocks were allotted to NTPC in March 2015 and production is expected by 2022-23 if the coal ministry allows merging/combined operation of these two mines by September.
CMPDIL is a fully owned subsidiary of Coal India Limited and provides consultancy and support for mineral exploration, mining, infrastructure engineering, environmental management, and management systems, especially to the mineral, mining and allied sectors, both within and outside coal industry and the country, according to its website.