Kolkata, May 15 (IANS): Union coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said an investment of $20 to 25 billion is needed to achieve the coal production target of one billion tonne by 2019.
“It (the coal target) could entail an investment anywhere between $ 20-25 billion in technology, equipment, in upgrading facilities, opening new mines – that is the level of investment as a ballpark figure,” he said.
Goyal said, at the current stage, the centre has identified the “big picture”
“On that format now, we shall now be inviting detailed technological innovative plans to be most cost-effective and bring in the highest standards of safety and maintain high quality of coal,” he said.
To achieve the target, Coal India Ltd (CIL) will be opening 70-100 new mines besides stepping up production from its existing mines while allotments will also be made for the private players.
“The mines which CIL will be opening would be in the region between 70-100 mines and my own sense is that the state governments will be allotted 39 mines, and maybe another 70-80 mines in the private sector,” he said.
He said output from the existing mines wherever possible will be stepped up and mining plans in some of the existing mines will be expanded by 4-5 times from the current capacity. Also, some of the unproductive mines will be shut down.
“There are a portion of mines which will stop operating as they have been mined out totally but that will be replaced by the new mines. In the evacuation infrastructure, an incremental growth in the first 2-3 years is predicted followed by a quantum jump in the last two years,” he said.
“I see CIL as the world’s most valuable mining company five years from now,” said Goyal.