MCL's Balram and Kaniha coal mines have been facing intermittent shutdowns, casting questions on the economic viability of these mines. The production stoppages at these key operative mines have thrown a challenge to MCL which has set a target to achieve 160 million tonnes (mt) in coal production in this fiscal year. After South Eastern Coalfields (SECL), MCL is the second largest producing coal subsidiary of Coal India Ltd (CIL).
Kaniha open cast mining which boasts of 10 mt in annual output, has witnessed a record 1269 hours of work stoppage in FY20. In cumulative terms, Kaniha open pit mining project where 25,000 tonnes of coal is excavated each day has faced shutdown for more than 52 days in this financial year. Likewise, Balram open cast project has been out of operations for 42 days due to stir.
At Talcher Coalfields, all coal mines of MCL have suffered disruptions. Lingraj coal mine though least affected has suffered closure for 15 work days in this financial year.