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PANEM Coal Mines Limited is a joint venture of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) with Eastern Minerals and Trading Agency (EMTA) to produce, supply, transport and deliver coal from the coalmines of Pachwara Central Block in Pakur District in Jharkhand, Eastern India, exclusively to PSEB thermal power stations.
According to an inquiry report into the project, it is estimated that Pachwara Central Block contains 562 million ton of coal reserves. Out of this reserve, it is proposed that in an area of approximately 13 square kilometers, open pit mining will be done in 11 square kilometers. The Central Block envisages 44 years of open cast mining to extract 289 million tons of coal. The Jharkhand Government is expected to get annual royalty at the rate of Rs. 100 crores. It is also estimated by official figures that 250 families will be displaced and "afterwards possibly more.”
The Pachwara coal mining project began in 2002 and was quickly met with resistance by locals. The Santhal community were pushed off their land for the project. Indian nun Sister Valsa John helped organize the Santhal to demand compensation for their land, and Panem Coal Ltd. was eventually forced into a compensation agreement. In early November 2011, a mob of 25 or 30 men carrying spears, clubs and axes burst into the house of Sister Valsa and beat and hacked her to death; it is speculated that it is because of the work she did helping local people resist coal projects and demand compensation. The Associated Press has reported that coal extraction in mineral-rich Jharkhand is largely controlled by a powerful mafia that operates illegal mines, with the coal then sold on the black market.