Saleque Sufi did a research on managing the challenges of energy and power sector. This is the third part of his findings from this research.
- Environmental & Social Challenges:
The underground mining now covers about 3 sq. km area. Mining induced subsidence visible from in 2006 has already affected about 250acre and increasing gradually with the progress of coal production. BCML has already acquired 627acre subsidence affected area paying due compensation to the affected people. Local fishermen are allowed catch fish and trade fish from BCML owned ponds in the area which have subsided. Mine affected local community getting compensation have been engaged in alternate business for their livelihood.
Future Plan for Barapukuria Mine:
BCMCL has engaged a consultant for a feasibility study for the extension of underground mining using the present Long Wall Top Caving Method. There is no progress however of the plan for a pilot project of open pit mining operation on the northern section of Barapukuria as suggested by Government appointed a special technical committee.
- Phulbari Coal Field:
Contract: 11/C-94: For Exploration and Mining of Coal in Northern Bangladesh between Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and BHP Minerals International Exploration Inc. Signed on 20 August 1994
Assignment Agreement: Between President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh represented by the Director of the Bureau of Mineral Development and Asia Energy Corporation (Bangladesh) Pty Ltd. Signed on 11 February 1998.
- AEC Scheme of Development (SOD): Asia Energy engaging international mining consultants – Worley Parsons, GHD, and SMEC carried out detail feasibility study and per the provision of the contract submitted Scheme of Development (SOD) to Bangladesh Government in end 2005. Per SOD AEC submitted plan to build and operate an open cut mine. The major concerns of open pit mining are water management, agricultural land loss, and resettlement. SOD of AE addressed these possible impacts in their detail techno economic feasible studies.
- SOD included management of all impacts including
- EFFICIENT DEWATERING, AQUIFER INJECTION TO RECOVER GROUNDWATER LEVEL, ADEQUATE WATER FOR IRRIGATION, CLEAN WATER FOR THE COMMUNITY, WATER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL USES
- NO LAND LOSS, MORE PRODUCTIVE AGRICULTURE, PROJECT’S SUPPORT FOR IMPROVED SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
- Resettlement of Mine Affected Community: COMMUNITY FACILITIES, COMPENSATION, SPECIAL ASSISTANCE, LIVELIHOOD RESTORATION
- The operation of Phulbari Contract has been kept in suspended animation following an incident in Phulbari in 2005.Senior policy makers have concerns about management of surface and subsurface water, restoration of affected agricultural land, resettlement of mine affected community, other environmental and social impacts.
- Khalaspeer Coal Fields:
The Khalashpir Coal Basin is situated at a distance of about 290 km north of Dhaka, 48 km south of Rangpur Town. The main coal basin area (Madankhali Union) has a population of over 20,000 with a density of population of 767 per sq. km. In the Khalashpir coal basin, Geological Survey of Bangladesh had drilled four drill holes and Hosaf International Limited drilled fourteen more drill holes, to assess the coal resources, and conducted 2-D and 3-D seismic surveys. There are two aquifers in the Khalashpir sedimentary basin.
In terms of the quality of coal, average analytical results show that it has the moisture content of 0.6 – 5%, fixed carbon 32-66%, volatile matter 6-29%, ash 7-50%, and sulfur less than 1%. The coal is of bituminous variety with good coking properties. The maceral analyses of the coal show more than 70% vitrinite in 6 samples. Fusinite is rare in the samples and pyrite is present as veinlets or nodular pore fillings. Coal seam I & II has relatively high inertinite content with a low volatile matter. The upper 6 meters of coal seam II contains about 100% inertinite which can be mined as a special cut for blending with high vitrinite coal to increase the coke strength. The total in-situ reserves of coal in 8 seams of the 7.5 square km surveyed area are 451.00 million tons. The measured reserves are 277 million tons and the Indicated reserves are 174 million tons. Of these, reserves in seam I, II and IV are considered to be preferred candidates for mining. The seismic survey shows that there is more coal in the NW side of the surveyed area.
The reserves of coal seam I, II and IV could be taken up for mining in the first phase and the reserves in other seams may be accessed later in the life of the mine, if the mining conditions permit. The in situ mineable reserve base of the seam, I, II and IV is 277 million tons. Considering the geological setting of the overlying strata above the coal measures and the thickness and depth of the different coal seams, exploitation by the shaft is considered as suitable and selected as the mode of entry for the development of Khalashpir coal deposit. Two vertical shafts using freezing method are proposed to be sunk to develop the mine. For control of surface, subsidence stowing may be necessary and mine planning has included provision for the use of some hydraulic stowing even though this may be to a limited extent only.
Khalashpir coal deposit can be developed into an underground coal mine with an initial production capacity of 2 million tons per annum and ramped up to 4 million tons per year in about 5 years with additional investment in shaft, machinery, ventilation and drainage system.
Financial analysis of the underground coal mine at Khalashpir has been undertaken and the project is considered as technically feasible and economically viable.
- Dighipara Coal Field:
Dighipara coal deposit is situated in North-western part Bangladesh at a distance of about 300km north of Dhaka. The village Dighipara is 12 km from Bhaduria Bazar of Nawabjonj thana and 1 km from Dhalaedargah Bazar of Gabindaganj-Phulbari Highway. A railway Station Birampur of Dinajpur District is about 15 km away from Dighipara. The area is mainly plain and mostly cultivated land. The area lies between the latitudes N25o 18′ 52.8″ and, N25o 20′ 01″ and longitudes E89o 05’05”. Geologically, Dighipara is located in Rangpur Saddle (Rangpur Platform) Tectonic zone of Bangladesh.
Dighipara coal field was discovered by the Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB) in 1995 and the coal was found at a depth of 323m to 408m from the surface. Within the Dighipara coal basin, five boreholes were drilled by GSB during 1995-2004 with extension in the area of 1.25 sq.km of the basin. The maximum drilled depth in Gondwana formation/ basement rock was 526m. The coal deposits were encountered in all the five bore holes. Within the 323m to 408m depth, 6 nos. of coal seams were found. The average thickness of 5/6 seams is 61.71 meters. Among them seam No.II is the thickest one, which is about 36 meters thick. It is expected that the proven reserve of coal within the area is about 1000 million tons (estimated by GSB) and probable reserve within an area of 5 sq.km is expected about 500 million tons.
Dighipara coal deposit is amenable to exploitation by the open-pit method, but this would call for more detailed drilling for understanding the geotechnical setting and establishing reserves.
- Jamalganj Coal Field:
Following the discovery of a thick bituminous coal seam at Kuchma near Bogra in 1959, a UN-PAK Mineral Survey Project was initiated in 1961 with the aim to locate coal by deep drilling. Ten holes with a total meterage of 10,000m were drilled preceded by geophysical surveys. The discovery of seven coal seams in the Jamalganj area near the border of Nawgaon and Bogra districts was the outcome of the project. Feasibility study on the exploitation of the deposit was carried out by EPICD (predecessor of BMEDC) and M/S Fried Krupp of West Germany, M/S Powell Duffryn Services of the UK and Robertson Research International amongst others were appointed as consultants who gave divergent views on the mining method, total resource estimate and cost of exploitation.
The exploitation of Jamalganj coal resources opens up a challenge of many dimensions. Since conventional mining has thus far been ruled out on the grounds of costs, one could explore the possibility of extracting the coal bed methane, if there be any, or the heat content of coal using underground coal gasification (UCG). But a recent survey evidenced very little methane left in the coal seam negating the possibility of Coal Bed Methane extraction.
- Dilemma and Indecision Of Mining Local Coal:
One of the major reason for revising PSMP 2010 is government’s indecision about mining own coal. Concerns of Policy makers are water management, agricultural land reclamation and resettlement of mine affected community apart from other environmental and social impacts of mining.
All these, however, are addressed in great details in the techno economic feasibility study included in the Scheme of Development (SOD) that Asia Energy Corporation
(AEC) submitted for Phulbari Project.Unfortunately, no technical assessment of SOD was done and AEC proposal was neither accepted nor rejected.
Comparison of PMSP 2010 and PSMP 2015 (Reference PSMP 2015: High-Level Discussion) April 2016
|PSMP 2010||PSMP 2015|
*Government policy scenario
*6% growth scenario
*7% growth scenario
|Scenario based on macroeconomic analysis|
|Power Supply ( Installed Capacity)
Others (Nuclear, import, hydro)
15% -55%( Domestic :1% or above)
|Features||· Proposed for Prioritized projects ( Matarbai Power Plants )
|· Integrated discussion on Energy , Power and Economy
· Power Quality
Local coal utilization for mine mouth power generation or use in other planned coal based power plants is considered the most feasible option in consideration of very expensive huge infrastructure development for imported coal, challenges in the management of imported coal value chain. Even the government appointed high powered committee also suggested for an open pit pilot project on the Northern Part of Barapukuria and engaging consultant for a further study of Phulbari mining proposal.
4.2.1 Expediting the actions for engaging consultants for feasibility study of open pit mining of Northern Part of Barapukuria Mine
4.2.2 Engaging consultant for further detail study of the Scheme of Development (SOD) of AEC for Phulbari Mining.
4.2.3 Taking decision of mining from Khalaspeer and Dighipara through conducting further feasibility study if required.
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