Coal Reserves & Distribution in India

  • In India, coal is the primary source of commercial energy. It is used as fuel in industries, thermal power stations and as a raw material in chemical and fertiliser industries etc…

  • Unfortunately, the bulk of the Indian coal reserves are of rather poor quality. We meet part of our coking coal requirements through import.

  • At one time Indian railways were the largest consumer of coal. Since they have switched on to the use of diesel and electricity they are no more the direct consumer of coal.

India-major-coal-fieldsDistribution of coal reserves in India

  • Coal in India occurs in two important types of coal fields. They are the Gondwana coal fields and Tertiary coal fields.

  • Out of the total coal reserves and production in India, Gondwana coal fields contribute 98% and the rest 2% is produced by tertiary coal fields.

  • The states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhatisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are the leading producers of coal.

  • The bulk of lignite reserves are found in and around Neyveli in Tamil Nadu.

  • Significant lignite reserves are found in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Pondicherry and Jammu & Kashmir.

Gondwana coal

  • The Gondwana coal fields are located in the sedimentary rock systems of lower Gondwana Age.

  • They are distributed chiefly in the river valleys of the Damodar (Jharkhand – West Bengal); the Son (Madhya Pradesh–Chhatisgarh); the Mahanadi (Orissa), the Godavari (Andhra Pradesh) and the Wardha (Maharashtra).

Tertiary coal

  • Tertiary coalfields occur in the extra-peninsular areas which include Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim.

  • Besides lignite or brown coal are found in coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and in land basins of Rajasthan.

Coal reserves Coal Reserves in India by State

Name of the state

Reserves in billion tonne

% of total reserves

1. Jharkhand 80.71 26.76
2. Odisha 75.07 24.89
3. Chattishgarh 52.53 17.42
4. West bengal 31.31 10.38
5. Madhya pradesh 25.67 8.51
6. Andhra pradesh 22.48 7.45
7. Maharastra 10.98 3.64
8. Others 2.81 0.95

Coal Reserves in Jharkhand

  • It ranks highest in production as well as reserves of coal in India.

  • The coal deposites of Jharkhand mainly occur in Dhanbad, Hazaribagh and Palamau district.

  • In Dhanbad district the most important coalfields of Jharia and Chandrapura are located.

Coal Reserves in West Bengal

  • The oldest coal fields of Raniganj is situated in West Bengal.

  • It is the second largest coalfield in India. Raniganj coalfield stretches over Burdwan and Purulia districts.

Coal Reserves in Chhatisgarh

  • In Chhatisgarh, coal deposits occur in Bilaspur and Sarguja districts.

Coal Reserves in Madhya Pradesh

  • In Madhya Pradesh, coal deposits are found in Sidhi, Shahdol and Chhindwara districts.

  • Singrauli coalfield in Shadhol and Sidhi districts is the largest in the state.

Coal Reserves in Andhra Pradesh

  • In Andhra Pradesh, coal occurs in the district of Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam and West Godavari.

Coal Reserves in Orissa

  • In Orissa, Talcher is an important coal field. Other coal field are in Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts.

Coal Reserves in Maharashtra

  • In Maharashtra the coal fields are found in the districts of Chandrapura, Yeotmal and Nagpur.

  • In comparison to India’s coal reserves, lignite reserves are relatively modest.

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