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   News Archive News
    27 September, 2016
Coal India seeking new blocks in Mozambique
London, 27 September (AIM) - The state controlled mining company Coal India, the largest coal producer in the world, is seeking new exploration licences in the western Mozambican province of Tete.

According to reports in the Indian press, Coal India has requested the new blocks because it failed to find commercially viable reserves in the blocks previously allocated, which have now been surrendered.

The chairperson of Coal India told the publication "Economic Times", ""we have asked for alternative blocks from the Mozambique government since there was no mineable coal in the ones we were given".
Indeed, in February 2015 a company source told "Economic Times" that the quality of the coal found in the two licence areas is so poor that it cannot even be burned by coal-fired power stations.

In addition, last year Coal India announced its withdrawal from the joint venture which bought Rio Tinto s Mozambican coal assets. In 2014, ICVL (International Coal Ventures Limited) purchased those assets for just 50 million US dollars. At the time this seemed an incredible bargain given that Rio Tinto had bought the same assets in 2011 for 3.9 billion dollars.

But in February 2015 Coal India, which owns a 28 per cent stake in ICVL, informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that its Board had decided that the company would withdraw from ICVL.

However, the sudden increase in the international price of coal this year seems to have rekindled the interest of the Indian investors. Since the beginning of the year, the price of high-quality coal has increased by about 170 per cent.
According to "Economic Times", a source has told it that the best option for Coal India may be to take up the licences that International Coal Ventures Ltd (ICVL) had acquired from Rio Tinto.
ICVL is a joint venture between five Indian state-owned concerns, namely the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), Coal India Ltd, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), NTPC Ltd and NMDC Ltd. It was set up to acquire coal assets abroad in order to guarantee secure supplies of coking coal for the Indian steel industry.


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