India's Singareni to Open the Country's Biggest Coal Mine
India’s state-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), the country’s number two coal producer, announced it will commence the country’s biggest underground coal mine in October.
The mine, which is expected to generate 2.8 million tons of coal per year, should help the company edge past its output target for the fiscal year.
Singareni’s better-than-expected output will guarantee significant supplies to south India-based power plants as India faces a severe shortage of coal. Nearly half of the country’s power plants are in dire need as they have less than a week’s stock of fuel left.
In recent months, the world’s largest coal producer, Coal India (CIL), has been struggling to increase output as rains have slowed activity in some of its mines.
According to Singareni’s chairman, Sutirtha Bhattacharya, the company will be able to produce roughly 1-1.5 million tons of coal this fiscal year from the new underground mine. The company expected to produce a total of 55 million tons in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, and 56 million the year after that.
"We are the only company to provide more than 100 percent of what we commit to our power customers," Bhattacharya said. "We also make up for others' deficits and help in lowering imports."
Despite having mines across the country, Coal India has fallen short on its production target for April – August by eight million tons.
The company, which accounts for 80 percent of India’s coal, fears it may not be able to meet its commitment of supplying 408 million tons to power firms this fiscal year.
Unmanned train to allow Vale to reopen iron ore plant
Brazilian miner Vale SA will be able to resume operations at its Timbopeba iron ore dry processing plant in up to two months thanks to the use of an unmanned train, the company said in a statement this week.
Vale - Timbopeba iro ore plant
With the train, Timbopeba will be able to operate at least at 80% of its capacity of 33,000 tonnes of iron ore “fines” per day, reports Reuters.
Vale was forced to shut down the plant in the Alegria mine complex recently after labor authorities in Minas Gerais state banned activities close to the Xingu dam due to concerns of a risk of collapse.
Vale said access by workers and vehicles continues to be suspended in the flood zone of the dam due to the ban even though it remains at emergency level 2, which means there no imminent risk of rupture.
But some workers are allowed entry under strict security precautions and they will get the unmanned train going once it has been tested, which would take between one and two months, the company said.
The unmanned train will travel automatically along 16 kilometers (10 miles) of track operated by a system that can control the speed and activate the brakes, Vale said.
Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension
Vale has reached the milestone of first ore production at the Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project in Northern Labrador, Canada - recognised as the safest mine in Canada.