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Green concerns: 22 CIL units face closure

At least 22 mines owned by Coal India, the world's biggest coal miner, face closure over environmental concerns in Jharkhand, potentially suffering an output loss of up to 40,000 tonnes a day, officials said on Wednesday.

business Updated: Aug 24, 2011 22:10 IST

At least 22 mines owned by Coal India, the world's biggest coal miner, face closure over environmental concerns in Jharkhand, potentially suffering an output loss of up to 40,000 tonnes a day, officials said on Wednesday.

The mines, which provide mostly coking coal for Steel Authority of India Ltd, are located in Jharkhand, where pollution control authorities accuse them of running without proper forest clearance permission.

"We have issued an order to them to shut down," said Sanjay Kumar, member of Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board.
But a senior official at Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), a unit of Coal India that operates these mines, said they had not yet received the closure order.

"We have not stopped production yet," said DC Jha, director, BCCL. "We will have to close down once we get the order."
The 22 open-cast and underground mines together produce about 35,000-40,000 tonnes of coal a day, he said, adding, that the company would petition the federal environment ministry on the matter.

Coal India accounts for nearly 80% of India's total coal output. The miner has seen its shares rise over 25% this year, after the government sold a 10% stake for $3.4 billion in India's largest IPO ever last November.