Indian state-owned miner, Singareni Collieries Co. Ltd. (SCCL) will commence development of a 340-million-metric ton (mt) coal block reserve at Naini in the current fiscal year, marking its first foray outside its southern operational home state of Telangana.

SCCL would commence the project, entailing coal production capacity of 10 million mt per year (mtpy) along with a coal washery of 800,000 mtpy capacity.

The beginning of the project was marked by the federal ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) granting SCCL this month the permission to covert 783 acres of forest land for mining while the operations would extend across 912 acres.

“Over the past few years, SCCL has been attempting to expand its mining operations outside its operational hinterland in Telangana, and the Naini project in Odisha would be the first while the company has also approached other state government for allocation of blocks for the miner to expand its operations,” said N. Sridhar, chairman and managing director, SCCL.

He said that against the norm of the removal of about 6-7 cubic meters of overburden per ton extraction of coal at its open-cast mine. The Naini open-cast mine would entail removal of 3 cubic meters of overburden per ton of coal making it a financially attractive block to develop.

SCCL achieved coal production of 20.44 million mt during April-July for fiscal year 2021-2022 against a production of 12.35 million mt during the corresponding period of the previous year. This significantly negated the impact of the second wave of the pandemic this year. It is on course to achieve its production target of 70 million mt by the close of the current fiscal year on March 31, 2022.