Making a case for Coal India’s foray into metal and mineral mining, the government has said the state-owned firm being the biggest miner in the world would like to leverage the expertise for diversification. “Since Coal India is the biggest miner in the world, it has the largest experience in mining and would like to leverage that for diversification,” Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar told PTI. On being asked about the metal mines that Coal India is targetting, the secretary said, “Those specific things have to be crystallised.” The public sector coal major is contemplating foraying into mining of new minerals and metals like iron ore, nickel, bauxite and copper to harness its expertise. When asked how the things are moving in this direction, the secretary said, “That depends on Coal India board. It has to come from within. I am told they (the board) have constituted some sub-group. They are working on it.” The PSU coal miner, he said, is working on various areas including solar power.
Last month, Coal India had said that the modalities for diversification into new mineral mining was expected to be ready in the next few months. According to CIL sources, the foray into new metals and minerals will not hinder or cause any conflict with coal production targets. Coal India, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production, is eyeing 1 billion tonnes output by 2019-20.