Maputo: Mozambique has given the green light to Coal India to begin exploring two blocks of carbon bed whose rights the company won in 2008, Mozambican state media in the African nation said on Tuesday.
The government has approved the mining licence for India’s coal firm and prospecting is set to begin soon, Noticias newspaper reported.
Exploration is expected to last more than two years.
The two blocks cover 200 square kilometres (77 square miles) in the northwestern province of Tete and have estimated reserves of between 500 million and one billion tonnes of thermal and coking coal.
Mozambique awarded rights to the blocks to Coal India following a public contest in 2008. A Mozambican company won rights to a third block.
The terms of Coal India’s investment are still under discussion, Noticias reported, but the company has agreed to give Mozambique 15% of the coal mined.
The remaining 85% will likely be exported to India, a net coal importer whose growing needs for energy and steel have stoked demand for the carbon-based mineral.