Do you know when coal mining began in India? Well, it started in Raniganj, West Bengal, where the East India Company first mined coal in 1774. However, during that time, India hadn’t experienced the industrial revolution yet, so the demand for coal was relatively low.
According to the BBC, at the start of the 20th century, India’s coal production reached 6.1 million tonnes (MT) per year. Over time, as the country developed, the demand for coal increased. India has faced a recent coal crisis despite being one of the world’s largest coal-producing countries. But there is some hope for relief, as the Ministry of Coal released a report on 21st July 2023.
According to the Ministry of Coal report, India’s coal production has shown robust growth. Specifically, during the April-June quarter of the financial year 2023-24, coal production increased by 8.55%, reaching a total of 223.36 MT. Comparatively, in the same period of the previous financial year (FY 2022-23), the coal production recorded was 205.76 MT.
A significant part of this growth can be credited to Coal India Limited (CIL), which achieved an impressive production of 175.48 MT between April and June 2023. This reflects a remarkable growth rate of 9.85% compared to the same period in the previous year, where the production stood at 159.75 MT. The remaining coal production comes from other captive mines.
It’s worth noting that Coal India is responsible for producing over 85% of the coal in India. Additionally, some mines have been allocated to large companies, known as captive mines.
Coal Reserves in India
India is among the top five countries in the world with the largest coal reserves. According to the Ministry of Coal, Government of India, the country’s coal reserves amount to a massive 319 billion tonnes. The states with the largest coal reserves in India are Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, and Maharashtra.
However, despite having substantial reserves, India has faced a coal crisis, leading to increased coal imports. As reported by the Indian Express, the country’s coal imports rose by 30%, reaching 162.46 million tonnes in the fiscal year 2022-23, compared to 124.99 million tonnes in the previous year.
Why is Coal Important?
The coal industry is an important industrial sector in India which provides energy to various industries and plays a vital role in their operations. It is used in the iron and steel industry, cement, railways and other sectors. Coal is one of the important sources of electricity generation in India. This generates electricity which helps in the development of other sectors.
The increase in coal production will also reduce the import of coal.
As per the information from India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India has significant prospects for tapping into new mining potential and exploring the sub-surface reserves of coal. The Government of India has played a crucial role in fostering the growth of the country’s mining sector by introducing various significant initiatives, including the National Mineral Policy. These initiatives are expected to positively impact the coal industry, providing it with valuable opportunities for development and progress.
That’s it for today. We hope you’ve found this article informative. Remember to spread the word among your friends. Until we meet again, stay curious!
*The article is for information purposes only. This is not an investment advice.