Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL)
TypeState-owned enterprise
Area served
Key people
AP Panda
(Chairman & MD)
OwnerCoal India Limited
Number of employees
72,973 [1]

Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) is a coal producer based in India. The company was founded in 1975 after nationalisation of coal mines in India. It operates coal mines in Jharkhand and West Bengal states of India. It inherited all the private sector coal mines of the Raniganj Coalfield. It is one of the fully owned subsidiaries of Coal India Limited. The company has its headquarters at Sanctoria, in West Bengal.[2][3][4]


Coalmining in India first started in the Raniganj Coalfield. In 1774, John Sumner and Suetonius Grant Heatly of the British East India Company found coal near Ethora, presently in Salanpur community development block. The early exploration and mining operations were carried out in a haphazard manner.[5]

Regular mining started in 1820, led by an agency house, Alexander & Co. In 1835, Prince Dwarkanath Tagore bought over the collieries and Carr, Tagore and Company led the field. For the entire 19th century and a major part of the 20th century, Ranigunj coalfields was the major producer of coal in the country.[5]

At the behest of William Princep, Carr, Tagore and Company joined hands with Gilmore Homfray and Co. in 1843 to form Bengal Coal Co., which opened up coal mining activities. Their headquarters was at Sanctoria.[5]

Nationalisation of the coal industry was in stages. The management of coking coal mines was taken over in 1971 and the coking coal mines were nationalised in 1972. The management of non-coking coal mines was taken over on 31 January 1973 and these were nationalised on 1 May 1973. Coal India Limited, a holding company, was formed in 1975, encompassing the entire coal industry.[6] In 2016–17, CIL produced 554.14 million tonnes of coal. It is the single-largest coal producer in the world. Eastern Coalfields Ltd. is one of the 7 wholly owned producing subsidiaries of CIL[7]

At the time of nationalisation, 414 coal mines, almost wholly in the Raniganj Coalfield, came under the jurisdiction of ECL. The mines were regrouped to around 123 mines. Production from these mines in 1973-74 was 21 million tonnes, of which 20.744 million tonnes were from underground mines and the rest from manual quarries. The percentage of production from the underground mines has declined from 98.49% at the time of nationalisation to 18.23% in 2014–15. The focus is on technological upgradation of underground mines. In 2014–15, the technology-wise production from the underground mines (in million tonnes) was: conventional bord and pillar – 0.539, mechanised bord and pillar – 5.335, mechanised longwall (including road header) – 0.025, continuous miner – 1.397, Total – 7.296.[8]


ECL mining leasehold area is 753.75 km2 and surface right area is 237.18 km2It is spread across West Bengal and Jharkhand. ECL operates in Raniganj Coalfield in West Bengal, Mugma field (in Dhanbad district), Rajmahal Coalmines Projects (in Godda district) and Saherjuri Coalfield (in Deoghar district) in Jharkhand. The heart of the Raniganj Coalfield is located south of the Ajay River and north of the Damodar River in Paschim Bardhaman district. Mejia (in Bankura district) and Parbelia (in Purulia district) are located south of the Damodar. Palasthali (in Birbhum district) is located north of the Ajay. The Mugma field is located west of the Barakar River and north of the Damodar.[9]

The formation of coal seams in the Raniganj Coalfield-Mugma field of ECL has occurred mainly in Raniganj measures and Barakar measures. The Santhal Pargana mines and the Rajmahal Area are mainly related to Barakar measures and Talchair series.[9]


As of 1 April 2012, ECL has proved reserves of 16.94 billion tonnes – 12.42 billion tonnes in West Bengal and 4.52 billion tonnes in Jharkhand. Total reserves in the ECL command area, up to a depth of 600 m, was 49.17 billion tonnes.[9]


As of 2017, Eastern Coalfields had 14 operating areas with 87 working mines, 60 being underground mines, 19 open cast and 8 mixed mines. In 2016–17, ECL produced 40.517 million tonnes of coal, of which 32.319 million tonnes were from open cast mines and 8.127 million tonnes were from underground mines. It was the highest ever production. Offtake of coal from ECL by the power sector was 40.121 million tonnes in 2016–17.[10]

Operating areas

A broad area-wise distribution of coalmines of Eastern Coalfield Limited is given below:[11]

Area Collieries Name Pr.No Designation
Bankola Bankola Colliery, Khandra Colliery, Kumardih A Colliery, Kumardih B Colliery, Moira Colliery, Nakrakonda Colliery, Shankarpur Colliery, Shyamsundarpur Colliery, Tilaboni Colliery
Jhanjra Main Industrial Complex (MIC), I & II Incline, I & B Incline, 3 & 4 Incline
Kajora Central Kajora Colliery, Jambad OCP, Jambad UG, Khas Kajora Colliery, Lachipur Colliery, Madhusudanpur Colliery, Madhabpur Colliery, Naba Kajora Colliery, Porascole Colliery
Salanpur Bonjemehari Colliery, Barmondia Colliery, Dabor, Gourandi Colliery, Gourandi Begunia Colliery, Mohonpur OCP
Pandaveswar Dalurband Colliery, Khottadih OCP, Khottadih UG, Mandhaipur Colliery, Manderbony Colliery, Pandaveswar Colliery, South Samla Colliery
Rajmahal Lalmatia Coalfield in Godda, Jharkhand
Salanpur Bonjemehari Colliery, Barmondia Colliery, Dabor, Gourandi Colliery, Gourandi Begunia Colliery, Mohonpur OCP
Sonpur Bazari Sonpur Bazari Project
S.P.Mines Chitra in Deoghar, Jharkhand

Note: All the linked Area pages provide relevant details of the collieries and carry maps indicating the location of the collieries

Mining plan

An overview of the mining plan of ECL covering 12 clusters is given below. Further details are available on the linked Area pages.

Cluster Area covered No. of Mines Normal Production Capacity
million tonnes/year
Peak Production Capacity
million tonnes/year
1 Mugma 11 2.70 3.30[12]
2 Mugma 3 0.36 0.45[13]
3 Salanpur 3 3.33 3.93[14]
4 Salanpur 3 6.35 7.79[15]
5 Sodepur 2 0.485 0.63[16]
6 Sodepur 9 1.453 2.25[17]
7 Salanpur 4 0.58 0.74[18]
8 Sripur, Satgram 7 1.53 2.75[19]
9 Sripur, Satgram, Kunustoria 15 6.25 8.00[20]
10 Kunustoria, Kajora, Bankola 19 6.349 7.70[21]
11 Kenda, Bankola 11 9.1 9.9[22]
12 Pandaveswar, Sonpur Bazari, Jhanjra, Bankola 19 - 31.83[23]


  1. ^ "Eastern Coalfields Limited - CORPORATE INFORMATION".
  2. ^ Eastern Coalfields Limited
  3. ^ Eight subsidiaries of Coal India Limited International directory of company histories, Volume 44 by Thomas Derdak, Tina Grant.
  4. ^ [1] Eastern Coalfields Limited (Ministry of Energy, Department of Coal)
  5. ^ a b c Akkori Chattopadhyay, Bardhaman Jelar Itihas O Lok Sanskriti , Vol I, pp. 46–51, Radical, 2001, ISBN 81-85459-36-3
  6. ^ "History". Coal India Limited. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  7. ^ "About the Company". Coal India Limited. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Overview of ECL Production and Productivity" (PDF). Coal India. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Geographic Location & Area, Mines & Manpower, Reserves". Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Annual Report and Accounts" (PDF). Pages 6, 9, 11, 16. Eastern Coalfields Limited. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Area-wise Closed User Group (CUG) Telephone Number". Eastern Coalfields Limited. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Environmental Statement (2015-16) for Cluster 1" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Environmental Statement (2015-16) for Cluster 2" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Revised Application for Environmental Clearance for Cluster 3" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Environmental Clearance for Cluster 4" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Environmental Clearance (2015-16) for Cluster 5" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Environmental Clearance (2015-16) for Cluster 6" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Environmental Clearance (2015-16) for Cluster 7" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Environmental Clearance (2015-16) for Cluster 8" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Environmental Clearance (2015-16) for Cluster 9" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Environmental Clearance (2015-16) for Cluster 10" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  22. ^ "Environmental Clearance (2015-16) for Cluster 11" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Amendment in Environmental Clearance (2015-16) for Cluster 12" (PDF). Eastern Coalfields. Retrieved 24 September 2018.