Neyveli Lignite to outsource mining in new Rajasthan minesOctober 19th, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Oct 19 (IANS) Integrated lignite mining and power company Neyveli Lignite Corp will outsource mining activities at Bithnok and Hudla in Rajasthan.
The Rs.3,354-crore company has decided to mine lignite at Bithnok (2.25 million tonnes a year) and Hudla (two million tonnes) to fire its proposed power plants at Barsingsar, also in Rajasthan.
The company already has a 2.1-million-tonne lignite mine at Barsingsar and has set up a 2×125 MW power project there.
“Our board has approved mining projects at Bithnok and Hudla so that additional power units can be put up at Barsingsar,” said company mines director B. Surender Mohan.
“We have submitted the board’s approval to the ministry of coal for the green signal,” Mohan told IANS from Neyveli over phone.
He said Neyveli Lignite would outsource the mining activities at the new Bithnok and Hudla mines as is being done at Barsingsar now, maintaining that this would reduce capital and recurring expenditures.
“Compared to Barsingsar mine, mining cost at Bithnok will be higher as the stripping ratio is more,” Mohan said.
Stripping ratio - the amount of overburden removed to one tonne of lignite - is around 1:14 at Bithok as against 1:5 at Barsingsar, he added.
According to him, the Barsingsar mine will commence full production by the month-end when one of the two power units goes on stream. The second unit will be commissioned in January.
The company is also confident of acquiring around 7,700 acres at Neyveli, its home turf, for expanding its second mine, which got delayed due to disputes over the amount of compensation to be paid to landholders.
“At an all-party meeting around 10 days ago in Cuddalore, it was agreed that the compensation for an acre of wetland will be Rs.600,000,” Mohan said.
Land owners had demanded Rs.15 lakh.
“The rates for dry land and land outside urban areas are far lower.”
The company board will consider the revised rates Oct 26.
Neyveli Lignite is expanding the mine on an outlay of over Rs.2,100 crore to feed its upcoming 2×250 MW power project.
“We will acquire the land in phases, so the compensation will be spread over a period. We may be acquiring 300 hectares a year,” Mohan said.
The company plans to enhance its mining capacity from 4.5 million tonnes annually to the existing 24 million tonnes, but will not outsource mining activity.
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