Opencast mining ensures a quick and large quantum of production and maximum possible
recovery of coal.The constraint to the application of Opencast mining is the economic limit of stripping ratio and to
some extent the restrictions related to the surface environment.
Opencast mining operations in SCCL were taken up in 1975.
SCCL has been operating itís OC mines with Average stripping ratio of around 1:5(2011-12) and is planning for higher stripping ratio in the near future.
Conversion of UG mines into OC:
Because of many statuary restrictions, lot of coal (40%-60%) is left in underground
mines. From the point of conservation & safety in future, it is essential to find a way to exploit this coal economically.
As the percentage of coal recovery by opencast method is more, SCCL has resorted
to reopen/convert closed underground coal mines as opencast mines wherever
reasonable reserves are available. Eg. RGOC III, GKOC, & SRPOC etc.
Some more projects are about to be launched to extract coal from standing coal
pillars, barriers, partitions, etc., of old/closed mines.
SCCL produced 41.57MT of coal from opencast mines during the year 2011-12.