Introduction

The geological Survey of Bangladesh (G.S.B) discovered Barapukuria Coal field in 1985. Since that a detailed feasibility study were carried out by M/S Wardell Armstrong (U.K based Organization) & China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation (C.M.C) in Barapukuria coal field. 33 nos of boreholes were drilled, delimited the area of reserve, determined the structure and the coal seam characteristics were identified in terms of thickness, quality etc. at that time. According to the necessity during development and production period of the mine, additional 5 boreholes were drilled by XMC/CMC consortium in mining area during 2013-2014. Asia Energy Corporation (A.E.C) Bangladesh pty. ltd drilled 4 nos of boreholes in 2005 at the southern side of Barapukuria Lease Area and confirmed the extension of the coal seam towards south. Institute of Water Modelling (IWM), Bangladesh drilled 8 nos of exploratory boreholes in 2013-2014 at the Northern side of the coal field under a study work relating to groundwater modelling in that area.

The surface geology over the entire coal field area was covered by Barind Clay (Madhupur Clay). Ground water bearing strata (Dupi-Tila) is uncomfortably overlays the Gondwana (Permian) coal bearing sediments. These are folded into an asymmetric syncline or basin, whose axis strikes approximately North-South. A major fault forms the eastern limit of the deposit, beyond which, Archaean Basement rock (Pre-Cambrian) are present immediately below the Dupi-Tila. Besides this, around 38nos of faults have been identified in Barapukuria by seismic survey. The Western, Northern and Southern limits of the deposit are formed with the subcrop of seam VI beneath the Dupi-Tila.

The Gondwana sequence comprises predominantly sandstone, with subordinate siltstones and mudstones, which contains up to six coal seams in the center of the Basin. The lowest of these, seam VI is the principle target seam of Barapukuria and has an average thickness of 36m. It consists of a weakly-caking sub-bituminous to bituminous coal with average sulphur content of about 0.53% making it an ideal fuel for power generation. In- seam inclusions of dirt (non-coal material) are variable, but mainly restricted to the uppermost and lowermost sections of the seam. An in-situ geological reserve of about 390millionMT of coal was calculated for the entire basin. Recovery is constrained by mine layout, method of extraction, number of slices to be mined, all of which are dependent on going experience during the production phases.