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Exploration of Coal and Lignite scheme

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

 Context: Ministry of Coal has approved a plan called the “Exploration of Coal and Lignite Scheme” with an estimated expenditure of ₹2,980 crore.


Aim: The scheme aims to explore and estimate coal resources in the country, facilitating the preparation of detailed project reports for coal mining. This initiative plays a crucial role in assessing coal reserves, auctioning new coal blocks, and recovering costs from successful bidders.


Time period: 2021-22 to 2025-26

Stages: It consists of two stages: (i) Promotional (Regional) Exploration and (ii) Detailed Exploration in Non-Coal India Limited blocks


Classification of coal in India based on carbon content:

Coal Type Description Carbon Content (%) Calorific Value (kcal/kg) Found in
Anthracite Best quality coal with the highest calorific value 80-95 High Jammu and Kashmir
Bituminous A common type of coal with moderate carbon content and high calorific value 60-80 High Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh
Lignite The lowest rank of coal with lower carbon content and high moisture content 40-55 Low to Medium Rajasthan, Lakhimpur (Assam), Tamil Nadu
Peat The initial stage of a coal formation with low calorific value and low carbon content <40 Low Throughout India


About Coal Sector in India:

  • India has the fifth largest coal reserves, is second in coal production (after China) and is among the largest importer of coal (mainly from Indonesia, South Africa and Australia).
  • Coal accounts for almost 50% share in the total installed electricity generation capacity in India.
  • The top 5 States in terms of total coal reserves in India are Jharkhand > Odisha > Chhattisgarh > West Bengal > Madhya Pradesh.


Other Government Initiatives for the Coal sector: UTTAM (Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal) Application for coal quality monitoring; New coal linkage policy to ensure adequate supply of fuel to power plants through reverse auction; Online Coal Clearances System; Coal Allocation Monitoring System (CAMS); Opening up of commercial coal mining