Coal India Ltd to launch M-Sand projects in a big way

January 27, 2023 | 11:56:31

The company has envisaged to process overburden rocks for sand production in mines where OB material contain about 60% sandstone by volume.

NEW DELHI: Sand is classified as a “minor mineral”, under The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act) and administrative control over minor minerals vests with the State Governments, and accordingly, regulated through State specific rules. Due to high demand, regulated supply and complete ban of sand mining during monsoon to protect river ecosystem, finding alternative to river sand became necessary. Sand Mining Framework (2018) prepared by Ministry of Mines envisages alternative sources of sand in the form of Manufactured Sand (M-Sand) from crushed rock fines (crusher dust), sand from Overburden (OB) of coal mines.

During Opencast mining the overlying soil and rocks are removed as waste to extract coal and the fragmented rock (Overburden or OB) is heaped in dumps. Most of the waste is disposed off at the surface which occupies considerable land area and requires extensive planning and control to minimize the environmental impact of mining. Coal India Ltd (CIL) has envisaged to process the overburden rocks for sand production in mines where OB material contain about 60% sandstone by volume which is harnessed through crushing and processing of Overburden.

OB to M-Sand initiative of CIL is facilitating processing of waste overburden in its OC Mines. To expedite 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 shall have liberty to decide sale price and marketability of sand produced.

Apart from OB to sand initiative, WCL has sold 1,42,749 m3 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 m3 of OB for Railway Siding and FMC projects. Other subsidiaries of CIL are also taking similar initiatives to utilise OB for other purposes.