Thursday, May 28, 2020



In Assam, mining is at present concentrated mainly to four industrial minerals, namely, coal, oil and gas, limestone and sillimanite. The history of coal mining in Assam goes back to the year 1834 when extraction of this mineral on a small scale was being carried out at Cherapunji in upper Assam.

Coal was first mined in 1840 near Jaipur by the Assam Tea Co. But the most important phase in the development of the coal mining industry in Assam was the incorporation of the Assam Railway and Trading Co. in 1882 for the exploitation of the upper Assam coal. The most important coal mines in Assam are situated in the Ledo and Jaipur areas of upper Assam.

In the Mikir hills, two small collieries exist -one at Koilajan and other at Seelbhata. The coal mining activity in the Khasi hills is mostly concentrated around the Laitryngew area. In addition to these small collieries, three mines exist in the Khasi hills. Messrs Thanginath colliery and the Mawsynram colliery are important among them. A small coal mine has been developed at Nangwalbibra in the west Darranggiri Coalfield in the Garo hills under the auspices of the ASMDC, a state government under taking. Petroleum mining is an outstanding feature of Assami's industrial landscape. Its exploration and development in the state are carried out by the oil and natural gas commission, Oil India Limited and Assam oil company. The discovery of the first oilfield, the Digboy field, goes back to the year 1889.

The outstanding work of the BOC in upper Assam has culminated in the discovery of the Nakarkatiya (1953)and Moran (1950) fields which are now developed by the OIL company. Limestone mining in Assam is confined to surface quarrying. Regular mining activities have been started since 1938 in Therriaghat area in Khasi Hills. Sillimanite has been known to occur at Sonapahar since 1922. In addition to these major minerals , minor minerals such as gravel, sand, building stone and ballast are produced at present at various places in the state.