New Delhi: State-owned Coal India (CIL) intends to produce sand using overburden rocks lying at its various coal mines and the operation of five such sand plants is likely to commence by next year, said the government on Friday. Under the overburden (OB) rocks-to-manufactured sand initiative, CIL facilitates processing of waste overburden at its open cast mines.
"CIL has envisaged to process the overburden rocks for sand production in mines where OB material contain about 60 percent sandstone by volume which is harnessed through crushing and processing of overburden," said the coal ministry in a statement.
Out of the five proposed plants, Ballarpur Plant of Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) is expected to commence sand production by May. Four plants including, one each in WCL, Southeastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL) and Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) are under different stages of tendering process.
"To fast-track the OB-to-sand initiative, CIL has prepared a model bid document for installing more such plants across subsidiaries, in which terms and conditions have been modified for wider participation. The successful bidder will have the liberty to decide sale price and marketability of sand produced," said the statement. Overburden rocks are also used in levelling up land for construction of roads and railway tracks.
WCL has sold 1,42,749 cubic metres of OB for road construction, formation for railways, land base levelling and other uses and earned Rs 1.54 crore. SECL has also used 14,10,000 cubic metres of OB for railway siding and FMC projects. Other subsidiaries of CIL are also taking similar initiatives to utilise OB for other purposes.
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