Coal India to invite fresh bids at Mozambique blocks

Coal India to invite fresh bids at Mozambique blocks

Mumbai: Coal India , the world’s largest coal miner, will call for fresh bids for exploratory drilling at two coal blocks in Mozambique, likely delaying the development process by a few months, a senior company official said on Wednesday.

“There were some issues with the (earlier) bids. Any cancellation leads to delays, but we hope not much," the official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

The state-run firm had secured exploration rights at two blocks in Mozambique’s Moatize region late last year, and planned to start exploration work by July or August. It hopes to start mining coal at the site within five years.

Coal India plans to export 10 million tons of coal from the two blocks to India in the next 10 years. The blocks are estimated to hold reserves of a billion tonnes of coking and thermal coal. It will invest $400 million in the project.

The miner has been scouting for overseas assets and supplies to feed rising demand from Indian coal, steel and power firms. The country is likely to import 135 million tonnes of coal in the financial year that began on 1 April.