State-run Coal India (CIL) on Monday said it may witness a shortfall of around 10 million tonnes (mt) of output against the production target of 780 mt for this fiscal, adding it will try to “minimise” the output gap.

“780 mt is our target (for FY24). And we are all set to go. Five companies (subsidiaries) are already ahead of the targets, but SECL (South Eastern Coalfields), due to some land shortage there initially, around 8-9 mt, we are lagging behind. We are trying to make up with other two-three approximately around 770 mt is there for sure. But in the last 39 days (during this fiscal), if everything goes well, we will try to minimise the gap,” CIL Chairman, PM Prasad, said during Q3-FY24 results conference call.

The coal miner, the largest coal producer in the world, had registered the highest-ever coal production of 703.2 mt in the last financial year.

“We are optimistic to maintain the double-digit growth in production and dispatches... the 10 mt (of production gap) also we are trying to make up from ours to whatever extent is possible,” Prasad said.

Q3 profits doubled

Coal India, last week, reported a 17.81 per cent year-on-year growth in its consolidated net profit at ₹9,093.69 crore for the third quarter this fiscal, registering a higher-than-expected profit. The company’s revenue during Q3-FY24 grew 2.79 per cent year on year at ₹36,153.97 crore (₹35,169.33 crore), buoyed by higher coal sales.

The coal behemoth said its output target is around 838 mt for the next financial year. However, the figure is subject to review in the first week of April.

CIL has a capital expenditure plan of around ₹17,500 crore for the next financial year, against the target of ₹16,500 crore for the current financial year.

Bids for three blocks

With the last date of submission of technical bids on February 26, the company is planning to participate in the auction for three blocks for critical minerals.

“The Ministry of Mines is conducting an e-auction, and we are participating in three blocks. We are going to participate for exploration first,” Prasad said.

“In Australia, our team has visited and seen one or two areas. And they are in different talks. So, it is in preliminary stage only,” he replied to a question on possibilities of exploring critical minerals in Australia.