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Rajmahal's massive expansion underway.

The state of Bihar contains India's highest coal reserves, estimated by The Geological Survey of India at the beginning of 1991 to be just over 64,000 Mt. One of the major projects there is the expansion of the Rajmahal opencast mine of Coal India subsidiary Eastern Coalfields Ltd. (ECL). ECL's target for 1990-91 was 29 Mt, but only 23.5 Mt was produced.

Rajmahal's output is being raised from 5 Mt/y to 10.5 Mt/y on a turnkey basis by the Canadian Commercial Corp, through Canadian engineering company Met-Chem. Met-Chem is providing equipment procurement, technology transfer and technical assistance in mining, mine planning, maintenance and truck dispatch systems. The cost of Canadian goods and services for this project are being financed by a loan from the Export Development Corp. of Canada. Rajmahal is located some 320 km NW of Calcutta.

Central to Rajmahal's expansion are five new P&H 2300XPA electric shovels. The first of these units went into production in October 1991 and by the end of March last year had accumulated more than 2,000 operating hours. By the middle of last year machines two and three were operating, with the final two soon after.

A project of Rajmahal's size required a significant contingent of on-site technicians to ensure start-up procedures went smoothly. A resident P&H service representative supervised erection of the shovels, aided by Harnischfeger's local distributor and electrical and mechanical engineers from Met-Chem. The Harnischfeger Institute provided operator training; 15 brand-new operators were trained in three months of extensive instruction.

Rajmahal's overall production goals are expected to take another four or five years to achieve as more and more sections of this major expansion are brought on-stream.

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Title Annotation:Panorama; Bihar, India
Publication:Mining Magazine
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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