India’s coal mines

India’s coal mines

India’s coal mines

#GS-03 Mining, Coal

For Prelims:

About Coal in India:

  • Jharkhand is the largest coal-producing state in India.
  • The top coal-producing states are Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra.
  • Coal accounts for approximately 55% of the country’s energy needs.
  • India is the second largest producer and consumer of coal after China.

Types of Coal:


  • Anthracite is the best quality of coal which carries 80 to 95 per cent carbon content.
  • It ignites slowly with a blue flame and has the highest calorific value.
  • It is found in small quantity in Jammu and Kashmir.


  • Bituminous carries 60 to 80 per cent of carbon content and a low level of moisture content.
  • It is widely used and has high calorific value.
  • It is found in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.


  • Lignite is often brown in colour. It carries 40 to 55 per cent carbon content.
  • It is an intermediate stage which happens during the alteration of woody matter into coal.
  • It has high moisture content, so it gives smoke when burnt.
  • It is found in Rajasthan, Lakhimpur (Assam), and Tamil Nadu.


  • Peat has less than 40 per cent carbon content.
  • It is in the first stage of transformation from wood to coal.
  • It has low calorific value and burns like wood.

For mains:

Underutilisation of Coal fields:

  • Global Energy Monitor (GEM), which is a firm that tracks utilisation of the fuel-source internationally has discovered that, on average, India’s coal mines use only two-thirds of the capacity, with some large ones using only 1%.
What this signifies?
  • This suggests that 99 of India’s coal mine projects, expected to yield 427 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), under development are unnecessary, and opening new coal mines would not contribute to easing short-term supply-crunches.

The cause of underutilisation:

The major causes for the underutilisation of capacity are
  • competition from renewables,
  • infrastructure impasses, and
  • land-use concerns for hindering output.