Umarsar lignite mine gets green nod

A lignite mine, which was explored recently by the Gujarat Mining Development Corporation at Umarsar in Kutch district, has got environment clearance from the central government. The discovery is expected to strengthen the state's power sector at a time when it is witnessing industrialisation on a large scale.

While the state already has some lignite mines, the mineral found from the latest one is said to be of the best quality. "Lignite quality found here is considered to be the best of what is available," said Mines and Minerals Minister Saurabh Patel.

The mine has expected reserves of 21 million tonnes (MT) and nearly 10 lakh MT is likely to be mined in the first year. It is located in Lakhpat taluka near Panandharo, which has been reserved by the state for power generation.

A part of the fuel available at the new site will be kept for power generation and the rest will be distributed to industries, especially the small-scale sector, said Patel. "The government wants to give small-scale industries a competitive edge by meeting its huge demand of affordable fuel," he said.

After Panandhro was reserved for the power sector a couple of years ago following increasing demands, others sectors had to rely on alternatives like Mata No Madh, Tadkeshwar, Rajpardi and Bhavnagar even as they were of inferior quality.

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