The Singrauli Coalfield is located between latitudes 24012’ N and 230 47’ N. It is spread over nearly 2,200 km2 (850 sq mi) but only a small part of the coalfield, around 220 km2 (85 sq mi), has been identified as promising by the Geological Survey of India. The north-eastern part of the coalfield sits on a plateau with an altitude of 500m above mean sea level, well above the lower plains of 280m altitude.
The coal reserves in the north-eastern part of Singrauli coalfield, covering an area of around 220 km2 (85 sq mi), is 9,121 million tonnes, out of which 2,724 million tonnes are proved reserves and the rest is inferred or indicated. Important coal seams in this part of Singrauli colfield are: Jhingurda (130–162 m thick), Purewa (8–25 m thick) and Turra (12–22 m thick). Qualitatively, the products of these seams are generally high moisture (6-9 per cent) and high ash (17-40 per cent) coals. The volatile matter ranges from 25-30 per cent. The calorific value of the coal varies from 4,200-5,900 Kcal/kg.
Almost all of India’s coal reserves are of Gondwana coal. Thickness of coal seams in Indian coalfields generally range from 1 m to 30 m. An exceptionally thick seam of 138 m has been discovered in Singrauli coalfield.
Singrauli Coalfield is divided into two parts by the Kachni River – Moher sub-basin and Singrauli main basin. Major part of the Moher sub-basin lies in the Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh and a small part lies in the Sonebhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. Singrauli main basin lies in the western and southern parts of the coalfield and is largely unexplored. The present coal mining activities and future blocks are concentrated in Moher sub-basin.
Although some sporadic mining by private companies took place from early days, large scale and systematic mining was initiated in the Moher sub-basin by NCDC in the early sixties. A master plan for the Moher basin was prepared by the P&D Division of NCDC, in consultation with Soviet experts. The master plan envisaged large mechanized open cast mines.