Sustainable lignite resource planning at Thar coalfield, Pakistan

Siddiqui F. I., Pathan A. G., ÜNVER B., ERTUNÇ G.

JOURNAL OF CENTRAL SOUTH UNIVERSITY, vol.25, no.5, pp.1165-1172, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11771-018-3815-7
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1165-1172
  • Keywords: openpit, stripping ratio, Surpac, sustainable development, Thar coalfield, COAL, GENERATION, TURKEY
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Thar coalfield is a new coalfield in Pakistan with estimated lignite resource of more than 175 billion tons. Resource planning is an essential part of the strategic plan for optimal and economical exploitation of Thar lignite. Main objective of the present research is to assess Thar coalfield as a single deposit and identify the areas suitable for surface mining, underground mining and waste dump at Thar coalfield. The cumulative stripping ratio distribution map has been developed for Thar coalfield, covering an area of 1691.04 km(2) around 12 exploratory blocks. Lithological data of 693 drill holes have been used to calculate the cumulative stripping ratio in every borehole, which varies from 3.7 m:m to 88.1 m:m with an average value of 12.85 m:m. Cumulative stripping ratio is divided into six ranges, viz: 4-6, 6-8, 8-10, 10-15, 15-20 and > 20 m:m. Contours are digitized around all boreholes showing various ranges of stripping ratios. From the cumulative stripping ratio distribution map, it is concluded that 665.72 km(2) area, which constitutes 39.37% of the total assessed area, is suitable for surface mining and 989.82 km(2) area, constituting 58.53%, is appropriate for underground mining and outside waste dumps. Whereas, 2.1% area is no coal zone, only suitable for outside waste dumping. The developed map of cumulative stripping ratio distribution may be used as a guide map for the preparation of mining master plan for Thar coalfield.