About

Friends of Coal (North East)is the official blog of the Mahalaxmi Group. Located in Guwahati, Mahalaxmi Group is one of the largest Coal trading business house of the North Eastern India. Contact us at 0361-2306562 or visit our website at http://www.mahalaxmigrp.com.

Its purpose is to have a unified voice representing the North Eastern state’s coal industry as well as increase emphasis on coal as a reliable energy source to help the nation achieve energy independence. Our vision: By communicating with one voice, we will work together to create an environment that will establish North Eastern India’s coal as a safer, cleaner and more competitive energy source.

  • To take all necessary steps to ensure the Friends of Coal (North East) is the leading voice for all matters related to coal in North Eastern India.
  • To be a strong advocate for improving safety at our members’ operations through education, legislative and administrative actions and bring positive recognition to the safety accomplishments of our members.
  • To implement an organized, focused effort to inform key demographic segments across North Eastern India of the advantages of using North Eastern India’s coal.
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Coal India Awaits CCEA Clearance to Start Extraction of Coal Bed Methane

The Cabinet may soon take a call on whether a fresh lease is required by state-owned Coal India for extracting coal bed methane (CBM) which remains untapped in want of clarity, a top official on Sunday said.

To expedite gas production from coal seams, however, the government had earlier permitted Coal India to mine CBM through a notification.

 “Both the ministries (Coal Ministry and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas) sat along with the others….It has been sorted out that there is no need for a separate lease and that CCEA note is still pending. So, once the CCEA decides that then we will go ahead,” Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar told PTI in an interview.

Coal Bed Methane is a form of natural gas trapped in coal seams underground. Such gas can be extracted by drilling into the seam.

 “The CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) note is about just to say that there is no need for a separate lease. You know they (Petroleum ministry) had issued some notification and we said that notification needs to be amended the way we are saying. That amendment will have to be done for which it is pending in CCEA,” the secretary explained.
“But essentially it (the notification) says there is no need for fresh lease,” Kumar explained.

On the question that when will the CCEA take a call on this, he said “I think anytime. There was some clarification needed why only for the Coal India. So, our response has been because Coal India is a PSU and large amount of area under CBA acquired with it”.
The coal ministry, he said, has identified CBM as the priority area.

The secretary said gas is the remit of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, so the issue came is that if Coal India wants to extract gas then it has to take a fresh lease of the same area under the relevant act from the petroleum ministry.

“We were of the view that since (with regard to) our public sector Coal India, the acquisition of land is under the CBA (Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition & Development) Act, 1957). And rather it is not acquisition. It vests. So, it is not the lease. It vests with the central government when CBA Act is applied and the acquisition takes place.

So, it is unlike the normal land acquisition act where you acquire and state government gives you a lease. State government does not give any lease here,” he explained.

Once acquired under the CBA Act, the land vests absolutely with the Central Government so there is no need for a fresh lease under any Act, Kumar said.

“So, whatever lies within– coal and gas everything–can be mined or extracted,” he added.
The petroleum ministry had earlier allowed Coal India to mine the hydrocarbon. However, the permission came with a rider that Coal India cannot involve a private third party for CBM exploitation.

It can only give out equity participation to a central or state PSU with experience in CBM exploration, while the majority stake would remain with Coal India.

The secretary further said, “What is the harm in private sector participating because ownership is not with them…So, we have also in our comments said that permission should also be given to allow the private sector to be a partner in the extraction of methane”.

Coal Minister Piyush Goyal had in a reply to Rajya Sabha had last month said that Coal India Ltd (CIL) has taken initiatives to undertake the work of extraction of CBM from its mining leasehold area.

The initial activities include assessment of CBM potentiality in subsidiaries of Coal India Ltd to delineate CBM blocks in Damodar Valley Basin.

Accordingly, one block each has been delineated in Jharia coalfields and Raniganj Coalfields.

The minister had further said that “on receipt of modified guidelines and MoP&NG (Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas) considering exemption of applicability of Oilfield (Regulation and Development) Act, 1948 and Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules, 1959 within coal mining leasehold areas, further action will be initiated for extraction of gas and timeline will be drawn accordingly”.

The minister also said that a demonstration project was taken up in Jharia coalfields. Further for commercial exploitation, CIL is contemplating to extract CBM by engaging experienced developer through a global tender.

Source:www.news18.com

 

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Meghalaya: Chief Minister justifies move to allow MMDC to mine coal in state

Amidst the hue the cry from coal miners and coal mines’ owners in the state over the NGT ban in coal mining and the subsequent petition of the state government to take over the coal mining business, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma has justified the State Government’s move stating the process is more like outsourcing the work while keeping the traditional custom intact.

Earlier, the state government has proposed to allow the Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation Limited (MMDC) to take up coal mining in the State.

Referring to the letter of Vasant Sathe that was addressed to the Meghalaya Government in 1987, Dr Mukul said that the letter has an advisory that Meghalaya Government may utilise the services of Coal India and MMDC to facilitate scientific mining keeping in mind the need to do mining in conformity with the statutory laws in respect of environment, safety and health.

“We are talking about the letter of 1987. All these years none of preceding Governments have acted on this letter. I want to ask who put us to sleep and why did we sleep all these years? ” Chief Minister questioned.

He said that the Government is planning to allow the MMDC to proceed ahead with coal mining in the State pending the Presidential notification rescinding the operational part of the relevant sections of Coal Mines Nationalisation Act,1973.

“The State Government have taken up with the Centre to involve Para 12 AB of the Constitution so that this particular provision of this Act and also relevant provision of the MMDR Act, 1957 is exempted from its operations in respect of the scheduled areas of the State through a Presidential notification rescinding the provision of the Act,” Dr Mukul said.

While further justifying the proposal to allow MMDC to proceed with mining in the State, he said that the MMDC can enter into an agreement with the land owners who also have the ownership over the mines to carry out mining adding that as per the terms and conditions of agreement with the MMDC, the land owners as per tradition also have the right to mine and this benefit will be passed on to the miners.

Source:TNT

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Meghalaya seeks exemption from coal mining law

 

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The Meghalaya cabinet on Friday decided to urge the central government to exempt the state from the purview of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973, following the National Green Tribunal’s ban on rat-hole coal mining in the state.

“The cabinet has mandated the state’s mining and geology department to take up with the central government to exempt coal mining in Meghalaya from the purview of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973,” Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said. Section 3 of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973, states that the right, title, interest of the owners in relation to the coal mines shall vest absolutely with the central government.

Following the National Green Tribunal’s ban on rat-hole coal mining in the state, the Meghalaya government has taken up with the central government its bid to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule through a Presidential notification to exempt the state from the central law.

“We have had several discussions on this issue since last year and we have almost completed it. Therefore, the cabinet has mandated the mining and geology department to take up the issue and expedite the process of getting the state exempted from the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973,” the chief minister informed the media.

Moreover, Sangma said his government had come up with its Mines and Minerals Policy, 2012, to regulate mining activities in the state. The green court had ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in Meghalaya from April 17, 2014, after the All Dimasa Students’ Union and the Dima Hasao District Committee filed an application before the tribunal alleging that the water of the Kopili river was turning acidic due to coal mining in Jaintia Hills.

Source: Northeast Today

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Nagaland’s estimated coal reserve at 410 million tonnes

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Nagaland has a total estimated coal resource of 410 million tonnes (MT). This information was made available in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on March 7 last.

The data provided is as per “The inventory of Geological Resources of Indian Coal” (as on 01.04.2017) prepared by the Geological Survey of India. According to the inventory, Nagaland has a Measured (Proved) coal resource of 9 MT while the Inferred resource amounts to 402 MT.

The total estimated coal resources in the country is 315.149 billion tonnes and every year about 3 to 5 billion tonnes of resources are being added through fresh exploration to the Coal Inventory of India. The total coal extracted from the coalfields of India during 2016-17 is 655.31 MT. Jharkhand has the highest coal resource among all states with a total of 82440 MT while Odisha is second with 77285 MT.

Among the North Eastern states, Meghalaya leads the pack with a total of 576 MT while Assam is a close second with 525 MT. However, Assam has 465 MT of measured resources while Meghalaya only has 89 MT of measured resources with 471 MT accounted as inferred resource.

Sikkim and Arunachal with a total of 101 and 90 MTs respectively are the other NE states with coal resources.

Source

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Conrad Gets On With Job To Resolve Coal Ban Issue

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Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma has been asked by the Union Coal Minister, Piyush Goyal to come to Delhi where the issue of ban on coal mining can be discussed and a solution can be found out

Talking to newsmen here on Tuesday, Conrad Sangma said that Meghalaya was getting positive vibes for the Union Government to solve the issue though there are hurdles and it will be an exhaustive process

“It is important for us to be the nodal point which will ensure that we move from department to department and try to resolve the issues one by one,” he said.

According to Sangma, the issue is a multi-layered process and Government will make attempts to resolve the matter at the earliest.

When asked about the BJP’s promise of resolving the issues within 180 days if it comes to power, Sangma said that the question should be asked to BJP leaders

He, however, maintained that there would be aggressive effort from the State Government to finds a solution to the problem and Government would move as fast as it could to address the issue.

He also said that the Government would follow up with the Centre to invoke Para 12 A (B) of the Sixth Schedule to exempt central laws from being implemented in Meghalaya.

Source

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Congress suffers major setback in coal mining hub Jaintia Hills

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In the run-up to the 2018 Assembly polls, people in the Jaintia Hills blamed the Congress for not doing enough to fight the ban and allow mining to resume in the state. As a pre-condition to restart mining in the state, the National Green Tribunal had asked the state government to submit a mining policy – something that it has still not been able to formulate, much to the chagrin of coal miners and traders.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, promised to help lift the ban if it is voted to power. The BJP’s promise had more than a few takers in the coal belt. While the BJP did not win any seats itself, resentment against the Congress seems to have translated into gains for the two regional parties, the National Democratic Party and the National People’s Party – who are widely considered to be leaning towards the saffron party.

Source

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Meghalaya Seeks Exemption from Coal Mining Law

The Meghalaya cabinet on Friday decided to urge the central government to exempt the state from the purview of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973, following the National Green Tribunal’s ban on rat-hole coal mining in the state.

“The cabinet has mandated the state’s mining and geology department to take up with the central government to exempt coal mining in Meghalaya from the purview of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973,” Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said. Section 3 of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973, states that the right, title, interest of the owners in relation to the coal mines shall vest absolutely with the central government.

Following the National Green Tribunal’s ban on rat-hole coal mining in the state, the Meghalaya government has taken up with the central government its bid to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule through a Presidential notification to exempt the state from the central law.

“We have had several discussions on this issue since last year and we have almost completed it. Therefore, the cabinet has mandated the mining and geology department to take up the issue and expedite the process of getting the state exempted from the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973,” the chief minister informed the media.

Moreover, Sangma said his government had come up with its Mines and Minerals Policy, 2012, to regulate mining activities in the state. The green court had ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in Meghalaya from April 17, 2014, after the All Dimasa Students’ Union and the Dima Hasao District Committee filed an application before the tribunal alleging that the water of the Kopili river was turning acidic due to coal mining in Jaintia Hills.

source: Northeast Today

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NGT Banned Only Illegal Coal Mining in Meghalaya: Mukul

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Wednesday claimed that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) “did not ban mining of coal but banned only illegal coal mining” in the state.

Sangma maintained that coal could still be legally mined, with the state-owned Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation (MMDC) acting as an instrument to regulate mining activities in the state.

The green court had ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in the state since April 17, 2014, after the All Dimasa Students’ Union and the Dima Hasao District Committee filed an application before the tribunal, alleging that the water of the Kopili river was turning acidic due to coal mining in the Jaintia Hills.

“The NGT has not banned coal mining but only illegal coal mining,” the Chief Minister said in his reply to a Calling Attention raised by suspended Congress legislator Pynshngain N. Syiem in the assembly.

“…Illegal because the mining activities do not conform with the statutory laws pertaining to environment, safety and health aspects. Therefore, all these statutory requirements have to be reflected in the mining plan and place before the NGT,” Sangma explained.

Informing the House that the MMDC would act as an “instrument” to provide immediate relief to coal miners, the Chief Minister said: “This instrument (MMDC) will give immediate relief to our miners. The Corporation will also take all the necessary measures to prepare mining plan and in getting various clearances after getting mining lease from the central government.”

Moreover, he said the government roped in the MMDC pending the central government invoking Para 12 A(b) of the Sixth Schedule to ensure provisions of the central laws related to coal mining were exempted in Meghalaya.

Allaying fears over the ownership of coal mines, Sangma said: “There is need to be understood with complete clarity that MMDC is empowered by the mandate of a law to be utilised by the government to help people mine their coal which is not available for private miners.”

But the MMDC would take all necessary measures to prepare a mining plan and in getting various clearances after getting a mining lease from the central government, he added.”

Mining activities can be done in a very transparent manner by appointing Mine Developer-cum-Operator in a transparent bidding system through national bidding where we can get the best of experts to have scientific mining. Besides, the mine owners will know the actual cost of coal from their respective mines,” Sangma explained.

Source: northeast today

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CIL now set to prioritise coal supply to CPPs

Cement plants in the country were facing fuel crisis after petcoke was banned in three states for causing a high level of pollution.

After meeting a spurt in the demand for coal from the power sector, Coal India is set to prioritise on improving supplies to captive power producers to cater to the needs of cement, aluminium and sponge-iron sectors. CIL is dispatching some 246 coal rakes per-day of which 217-218 rakes are moving to the power sector and the rest to the non-power sector, a top CIL official said.

“We are now focusing on offering additional coal to captive power plants (CPPs). We are now restricting coal supply to power sector to some 217-218 rakes per day and pushing the rest to CPPs and other non-power consumers,” the official told PTI.

Cement plants in the country were facing fuel crisis after petcoke was banned in three states for causing a high level of pollution.

The CIL source said that in addition to the supply through Fuel Supply Agreement, coal is also offered through auctions to provide requisite windows to cement plants for meeting their coal requirement.

“We want to ramp up coal loading from January to 272 rakes per day from our own sources and have already placed requisition for the same with the Railways.

Supply to industrial consumers are set to increase by 100 percent from the current level of about 25 rakes per-day, without affecting the despatch to power utilities, the official said.

Till November, some 13 million tonne of additional coal was supplied to the power sector.

In September-November 2017, there was a spurt in demand for thermal power from the power sector as supply from the hydel and nuclear power had slumped.

Source: http://www.moneycontrol.com

 

 

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CIL looking to buy stakes in overseas coking coal mines

The government today said state-owned Coal India is hunting potential avenues for buying stakes in coking coal blocks overseas.

In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said, “CIL (Coal India) is pursuing available opportunities for buying equity stakes in coking coal mines abroad.”

He said though the CIL Board had last year advised the company to explore the opportunities of acquiring coal assets overseas, very few prospective blocks in foreign nations have come up for sale.

Coking coal is used mainly in steel-making.

Stating that the entire demand of coking coal is not met indigenously, Goyal said Indian consumers import metallurgical coal mainly from Australia.

Six coking coal mines are going to be auctioned, he said.

During April-September of the ongoing fiscal, 22.6 million tonne (MT) (provisional) of coking coal was imported.

While in the last fiscal, 41.6 MT coking coal was imported, in 2015-16, the import was 43.5 MT.coal-1521718_960_720

SOURCE: http://www.moneycontrol.com

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