By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, April 29, 2020: COVID-19 has disrupted lives operations across industries like never before and the mining sector is no exception. Mining companies in India are among those being hit by weakened demand as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the global economy.

The pandemic has affected the entire value chain, as organizations and companies limit access to offices, mine sites and manufacturing facilities, and restrictions on transportation and shipping increase.

Odisha – one of the nation’s major mining states with reserves of and production in important minerals such as iron ore, manganese ore, chrome ore, bauxite and coal, imposed lockdown in the entire State on March 24 following the outbreak of COVID-19.

However, the restrictions of lockdown were excluded inter alia with respect of operations of mines of iron ore, coking coal, thermal coal, limestone, dolomite, manganese, chromite, etc. as well as operation of ferroalloys, iron ore pellet plants etc.

This has raised hopes of the mining sector back to work. Incidentally, NLC India Ltd has commenced production from its coal mines in Odisha having a production capacity of 20 million tonnes per annum.

The Talabira II and III coal mines were allotted to the Navratna firm in 2016 to meet the requirement of its existing and future coal-fired power plants.

The Navaratna company had said that the production of 20 million tonnes of coal per annum from Talabira II and III coal blocks would fuel its 4,200 MW thermal power projects in that state.

During 2019-2020, the company also achieved renewable energy generation capacity of 1404 mw comprising 1353 mw of solar and 51 mw of wind power.

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