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Written by Kane Read, Business Development Manager.

Coal India Limited is an Indian state-controlled coal mining company head-quartered in Kolkata, West Bengal. It is the second largest coal producing company in the world, contributing to around 81% of coal production within India.

Safety is now more than ever a core aspect of Coal India’s production process, seeing major improvements over recent years. The next big step in Coal India’s increasing emphasis on safety is the implementation of safe refuge solutions in their emergency response plan.

In July of this year, South East Asia BDM Kane Read, alongside MineARC distributor Swati Safesecure, met with the Heads of Safety of Coal India and its subsidiaries. MineARC were asked to present the CoalSAFE Refuge Chamber to those in attendance. The reception to the CoalSAFE chamber range was incredibly positive, resulting in a unanimous response to commence the implementation of refuge chambers in all coal mines across their network.

The MineARC CoalSAFE range has been developed specifically for underground coal mining conditions; providing a long-term refuge option for personnel should evacuation prove impossible.

With a standard blast rating of 5psi upgradable to 15psi, the CoalSAFE can withstand primary and secondary explosions, extreme temperatures and flash fires. Innovative in design, it is currently the only refuge range on the market to incorporate both a powerless carbon dioxide/carbon monoxide scrubber, as well as an intrinsically safe air conditioning system.

Manufactured and tested to the highest industry regulations and guidelines, the CoalSAFE range has been approved by the West Virginian Office of Miners Health & Safety, and is built to United States Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) ‘Final Rule’ 2009 (30CFR §7.503).

Additional features of the CoalSAFE include; a flushing airlock, internal and external gas monitoring, and communication ports. Options are also available to allow for up to 100 hrs safe refuge.

For more information on the CoalSAFE range, please email


Coal India also showed great interest in the EnviroLAV toilet system, which is planned to be rolled out across numerous sites for a trial period. If implemented, the EnviroLAV will provide Coal India sites with an economic and innovative long-term solution to hygienic underground waste management.

Drawing on existing biological technologies currently used in two different forms of waste management, the EnviroLAV system utilises both aerobic and anaerobic reactions to break down matter. Within the EnviroLAV’s sterile, biological treatment tank, micro-aeration filters continually work to break down effluent, aided by MineARC’s unique EnviroZYME solution.

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As a result, the EnviroLAV requires emptying just once every 12 months. This process of organic waste management results in decreased environmental impact, lower maintenance requirements and a more sanitary working environment.

Please email for further information, or if you would like to discuss the possibility of an on-site trial.

Coal India plays a vital role in formulating safety policies for its subsidiaries and influencing regulation and safe practice across the country. The implementation of refuge chambers within their coal mines will be a huge step forward in increasing mine safety within India and more widely across South East Asia. MineARC is excited to be involved in this important phase in Coal India’s development.