x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Coal mines shut down over environmental clearances

Authorities in India's eastern Odisha state have halted operations at six mines belonging to Coal India, the world's largest coal miner, after its environmental clearances expired.

BHUBANESWAR, India // Authorities in India's eastern Odisha state have halted operations at six mines belonging to Coal India, the world's largest coal miner, after its environmental clearances expired, a senior government official said yesterday.

Any production disruption at the state-run company, which has repeatedly fallen short of supply targets, would mean an even higher dependence on imports to meet high domestic demand.

Operations were halted on Saturday at Coal India's Lajkura open caste mine and the Orient group of mines at the Ib-valley coal fields in Jharsuguda district. These belong to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), also part of Coal India.

"They do not have the forest clearances. The mines will remain shut until they get the approval," said Odisha's director of mines, Deepak Kumar Mohanty.

"We have already submitted the application and completed all the formalities," said AK Singh, the technical and project director at MCL.

The mines whose operations were suspended were producing about 3 per cent of MCL's daily output of 300,000 tonnes, he said.