Coal India's (CIL) exploration arm, Central Mine Planning & Design Institute (CMPDI) achieved 95 per cent of its exploration targets by December, last year. According to the company, in 2019-20, it was given a target to drill 14 lakh meters of which 5.05 lakh meters would be by the company, while the rest at 8.95 lakh meter was to be out sourced. Against this, 8.9 lakh meter of drilling has been carried out up to December 2019 against the target for the period of 9.32 lakh meter, which is 95 per cent of the target.
CMPDIL has also recently roped in Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) for carrying out analysis of coal samples from different exploration camps. They signed a memorandum of understanding for a period of two years wherein CMPDI will entrust IIT-KGP with 3000 m of coal-cores annually to carry out different analytical tests to determine the quality of coal samples for incorporating in geological reports.
Additionally, the centre will pay CMPDIL Rs 1,240 crore between 2019 and 2021 for expediting exploration on blocks that would be auctioned to commercial coal miners. This year CMPDIL is expected to add 16 billion tonnes of proven reserves to the national resource base this year by March 2020.
The plan is to offer fully explored blocks on auctions to commercial miners, the centre has decided to nearly treble monetary allocation to the Coal India arm so that it can increase its exploration acreages multiples times," a senior Coal India executive said. Prior to 2019, the centre used to provide between Rs 200 crore and Rs 250 crore for exploration of non-Coal India blocks. Following opening up of commercial coal mining the coal ministry decided to more than double it during 2019-20 to Rs 540 crore. For 2020-21, the allocation has been increased nearly three times to Rs 700 crore.
Proven resources of coal in India have increased from 21 billion tonne in 1976 to 156 billion tonnes in 2019 which is mainly due the efforts of CMPDI.