Coal Minister Piyush Goyal is not content with Coal India Ltd’s (CIL) robust 10 per cent production growth till October. He wants more to meet the demand. But, if the indications are right, CIL will struggle to maintain even the current level of production next year.
The problem lies with opencast mines that contribute 94-95 per cent of CIL’s production. Till October, opencast production grew at a record 11 per cent. But over-burden (OB) removal, a key feature in opencast mining, dropped by 3.4 per cent, which means seams are not adequately exposed for future production.
The trend was evident in the first quarter — when OB removal was marginally down — and consolidated with time. Read more