Coal India Ltd. – A Detailed Analysis

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Coal India Ltd., or CIL, is a Maharatna company and plays a crucial role in the energy sector, contributing significantly to the power needs of the country. This blog will unfold a comprehensive picture of Coal India Limited, discussing its history, major subsidiaries, and notable products. Keep reading to explore the different aspects of one of India’s most substantial state-owned coal mining and refining companies.

About Coal India Ltd.

FounderGovernment of India
Industry TypeCoal Mining
Founded Year1975
HeadquartersKolkata, India
Key PeoplePramod Agrawal (Chairman & MD)
Number of Employees2,39,210
Market Cap₹1.82 trillion
Number of Mines322 (138 underground, 171 opencast, and 13 mixed)

Overview of Coal India Ltd.

Founded in 1975, Coal India Ltd. (CIL) is now the world’s largest coal producer. Operating across eight Indian states, CIL oversees 322 mines, including 138 underground, 171 opencast, and 13 mixed mines. As of April 1, 2023, its diverse operations are backed by 239,210 employees. Besides mining, CIL manages various other establishments such as workshops and hospitals, affirming its significant role in India’s infrastructure.

The company prioritises workforce enhancement, utilising 21 training institutes and 76 vocational training centres for employee skill development. One significant establishment is the Indian Institute of Coal Management, highlighting CIL’s commitment to employee growth.

CIL holds the esteemed Maharatna status, a government recognition allowing operational expansion and denoting the corporation’s vital economic role. It controls eleven subsidiaries, including an international one in Mozambique, demonstrating its global reach and ambition. Directly managing operations in Assam under the North Eastern Coalfields highlights CIL’s comprehensive operational approach.

Contributing to 85% of India’s total coal output, the strategic importance of CIL to India’s energy security is crucial. It recorded a production figure of 703.21 million tonnes, marking a growth of 12.94%. This impressive performance shows CIL’s crucial role in ensuring a steady coal supply, significantly enhancing India’s energy security and economic growth.

History of Coal India Limited (CIL) till 2013


Nationalisation of coal mines to increase coal production and meet growing energy demands. Establishment of Coal Mines Authority Limited.


Renamed as ‘Coal India Limited,’ the incorporation of CMPDIL, ECL, and WCL occurred, and BCCL and CCL were established as subsidiaries.


Initiation of construction of the low-temperature carbonised plant in the Dankuni Coal Complex.


Establishment of five new washeries and crossing of 100 million tonnes in overall coal production.


Introduction of retention prices of coal by amending the Colliery Control Order, 1945.


Formation of NCL and SECL as Subsidiaries for managing specific mines.


Introduction of the ‘Blasting Gallery Method’.


Formation of MCL to manage mines in Orissa.


Awarded ‘A+’ rating by CRISIL and adoption of financial viability as the basis for coal development project approvals. Deregulation in prices of certain grades of coal.


Corporatisation of the financial flow between the Company and its Subsidiaries. Sanction of a significant loan from the World Bank and Japanese Bank for International Cooperation for implementing 24 projects.


Establishment of a minimum internal rate of return of 12% at 85% capacity utilisation for project development.


Awarded ‘AAA/Stable’ rating by CRISIL and introduction of sale of coal through ‘e-auction method’. Profit reporting by ECL and BCCL.


Coal production crossed 400 million tonnes.


Establishment of a foreign subsidiary in Mozambique and conversion into a public limited company. Receipt of “excellent” rating by Department.


Numerous awards including the “Enterprise Excellence Award”, “Mini Ratna” status, and “World’s Largest Coal Producing Company” Award. Coal India was granted ‘Maharatna’ status in April 2011.


Entry into the 30-stock Sensex. Winning various awards and recognitions including the “Century International Quality ERA Award”.


Awards for outstanding achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility and inclusion in ‘Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings’.


Coal India was one of the highest contributors to the government exchequer, paying a corporate tax of ₹9,572.05 crores.


Surpassing the half-a-billion tonne mark in production and off-take. Gross sales surpassed  ₹1 Lakh Crores.


Launch of WEB-based Online Monitoring System and MDMS portal to monitor ongoing projects.


Alignment as a corporate partner of International Solar Alliance with a contribution of 1 Million USD.


Production of 602.13 Million Tonnes of coal, maintaining over 600mt for the second consecutive year. Highest coal production in March 2020 since the inception of the company.

Major Subsidiaries of Coal India Ltd.

Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL)

Situated in the heart of India’s coal-rich region in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, BCCL holds an important place in the coal industry. This subsidiary of Coal India Ltd. is primarily engaged in the extraction and processing of both coking and non-coking coal, primarily from the vast Jharia and Raniganj coalfields. BCCL reliably guarantees the delivery of crucial coking coal to the nation’s thriving steel industry, strengthening the country’s industrial foundation. With an extensive network and effective logistics, BCCL stands as a symbol of dependability in coal supply, effectively closing the gap between production and demand.

Central Coalfields Limited (CCL)

Central Coalfields Limited, headquartered in Ranchi, Jharkhand, holds a significant position in the field of coking and non-coking coal mining and distribution. Overseeing a large number of mines within Jharkhand’s borders, CCL stands as a symbol of consistent and substantial coal output. This diligent subsidiary of Coal India Ltd. remains committed to enhancing the national energy sector, driving growth and ensuring energy security for the country.

Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL)

Situated in Sanctoria, West Bengal, Eastern Coalfields Limited specialises in the extraction of non-coking coal. ECL operates predominantly within the mineral-rich territories of West Bengal and parts of Jharkhand. Its consistent efforts contribute immensely to the smooth supply of non-coking coal, essential for various industries and power plants in these regions, thereby strengthening the regional energy infrastructure and enhancing economic stability.

Western Coalfields Limited (WCL)

With its base in Nagpur, Maharashtra, Western Coalfields Limited manages expansive coal mining and processing activities across Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. WCL’s pivotal role ensures the fulfilment of the burgeoning energy demands of these significant Indian states, augmenting their industrial growth and developmental projects.

Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL)

Headquartered in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh, Northern Coalfields Limited holds a crucial position in India’s coal production landscape. As a significant operator in the Singrauli Coalfield region, NCL effectively meets the growing coal needs of the region, highlighting its commitment to enhancing regional energy security and contributing to economic progress.

South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL)

Stationed in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, South Eastern Coalfields Limited emerges as the largest coal-producing subsidiary in India. The significant coal outputs from SECL not only assure the nation’s energy continuity but also play a critical role in driving economic growth by offering unwavering coal supply across diverse sectors.

Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL)

Operating from the strategic location of Sambalpur, Odisha, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited is a stalwart in non-coking coal production. Through extensive and efficient mining operations in Odisha, MCL contributes substantially to meeting both the state’s and the nation’s robust energy demands, emphasising its central role in enhancing energy reliability and economic advancement.

Also Read: UltraTech Cement Ltd. 

Coal India Ltd. Products/Services:

1. Coal Production:

  • Coking Coal:

CIL carefully produces high-quality coking coal, a critical raw material for the steel industry. This specialised coal variety, instrumental for coke production, is fundamental in steel manufacturing, furnishing both the requisite energy and carbon. CIL’s commitment ensures a steady and robust supply of coking coal, supporting the nation’s industrial progress and infrastructural development.

  • Non-Coking Coal:

Catering to the expansive industrial landscape, CIL guarantees the persistent supply of non-coking coal, fundamental for electricity generation and myriad industrial applications. Their consistent and efficient non-coking coal delivery propels diverse sectors, fortifying the country’s energy infrastructure and industrial output.

2. Coal Beneficiation:

CIL invests in advanced coal washing and beneficiation facilities. This dedication enriches the coal’s energy content and substantially minimises the environmental footprint of coal mining activities. Through coal beneficiation, CIL ensures the distribution of superior-quality coal to a wide range of consumers, enhancing its environmental sustainability and operational efficiency.

3. Coal Handling and Transportation:

CIL manages comprehensive and integrated coal handling and transportation services. The extensive and strategic use of conveyors, rail networks, and dedicated roadways, ensures timely, safe, and efficient coal transportation. By ensuring seamless coal transport, CIL strengthens its commitment to energy reliability and accessibility across diverse sectors.

4. Consultancy Services:

Extending its expertise beyond conventional boundaries, CIL, through its subsidiary Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL), delivers exceptional consultancy services in coal exploration, mining, and allied sectors. This comprehensive consultancy service delivers technical expertise, strategic planning, and unmatched solutions, driving excellence and innovation in coal-related operations.

Also Read: JSW Steel Ltd.


Coal India Ltd. (CIL) is a leading global coal producer, contributing significantly to India’s energy sector. Established in 1975, CIL emphasises not only coal production but also environmental sustainability and community development. The company has made considerable efforts in transforming abandoned mines into eco-parks and implementing large-scale tree plantation drives. With a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, CIL also focuses on technological advancement to improve operational efficiency. Its comprehensive CSR activities in education and healthcare highlight its dedication to community welfare. In embracing these diverse roles, CIL reaffirms its ongoing commitment to national growth and a sustainable future.

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