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State to have five more opencast mines

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Sept 7 � Coal production in the State is likely to go up with five new opencast mines being proposed to be opened in Assam.

The new mines are Lekhapani, Tikak Extension, Tipong, PQ Block and Lachitkhani OCs, official sources declared.

According to the latest inventory of Geological Resources of Coal in India by the Geological Survey of India, 1471 million tonnes of geological resources of coal have so far been estimated in the northeastern region. Of this, 388, million tonnes are in Assam and 576 million tonnes in Meghalaya.

In Assam, three opencast mines including Tirap, Tikak and Ledo OCs are in operation under North Eastern Coalfields Limited (NEC) of Coal India Limited (CIL).

In Meghalaya, coal is being produced by the local people as per the extant customary and tribal land rights.

In the hill State, the only lease held by NEC, CIL is Simsang, which had expired in 2008 and its renewal is yet to be received from Meghalaya. In the absence of renewal of lease in the State of Meghalaya, currently no more mines have been planned to be opened, said sources.

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