India’s Ministry of Coal has announced that the country has grown its coal production by 47% over the last nine years. India’s coal supply has also grown by 45.7% over this time, reaching more than 877 million tonnes.
The country has set a target of producing 140 million tonnes of coking coal by 2030.
In the fiscal year (FY) 2022–23, India produced 893.08 million tonnes of coal, the most in the country’s history and 47% more than in 2014. The ministry aims to produce more than one billion tonnes in the current 2023–24 fiscal year.
A statement from the Ministry of Coal stated: “It is expected that 25 coal mines will be allocated during FY 2023–24 for commercial mining.”
In 2021, the Indian Government announced ‘Mission Coking Coal’, a plan to enhance metallurgical coal production in the country. The Ministry of Coal stated: “[Mission Coking Coal] has made recommendations majorly relating to new exploration, enhancing production, enhancing washing capacity, auction of new coking coal mines.” It has two tenets: “1) Enhancing coking coal production from 52 Million Tonne (MT) in FY 2022 to 140 MT in FY 2030. 2) Enhancing coking coal washing capacity from 23 MT in FY 2022 to 61 MT in FY 2023.”
Because domestic coked coal has a very high ash concentration, it must be washed for usage in blast furnaces.
Mining Technology parent company GlobalData’s estimates from 2022 suggest that 5–7% of all coal produced in India was metallurgical coking coal, an essential component for usage in blast furnaces. This has forced India’s construction industry to rely on imported coke in its production. As part of the Indian Government’s strategy to achieve self-reliance, coking coal production is being pushed.
By comparison, global coal production only grew by 0.9% in 2022, of which India produced a major share; 12.7% of coal produced worldwide in 2022 was coking coal.