The history of coal mining in India stretches back to 1774 and the days of the East India Company. However, coal mining did not become a major industry in India until the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th century greatly increased worldwide demand for coal.
The coal mining industry in India became nationalized in dual phased in the early 1970s. The first phase nationalized coking coal mines in 1971-1972, and the second phase nationalized non-coking coal mines in 1973. The 1971 Coking Coal Mines Act, the 1972 Coking Coal Mines Nationalization Act, the 1973 Coal Mines Taking Over of Management Act, and the 1973 Coal Mines Nationalization Act were the laws which nationalized the coal mining industry in India.
The Chasnala Mining Disaster of 27 December 1975 occurred when methane gas within the mine exploded. The India Iron and Steel Company claims that it conformed to international mining standards in the construction and maintenance of its Chasnala Colliery in Dhanbad, India. The official death toll for this disaster rests at 372, though shoddy record-keeping at the Chasnala Colliery meant that the true death toll may never be known.