CIL mulls to start 5 MT output from Mozambique mines by 2015

CIL mulls to start 5 MT output from Mozambique mines by 2015

New Delhi: Maharatna PSU Coal India on Wednesday said it expects to start 5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) production from two blocks in Mozambique by 2015 and would look at acquiring more mines in the African nation.

CIL had won the two blocks in August 2009 through a global tender floated by the government of Mozambique.

“We are mulling to start production in two Mozambique blocks in 2015. The company is targeting to produce five MTPA from both the mines there," Coal India (CIL) chairman N C Jha told reporters here on Wednesday on the sidelines of a conference on coal.

“Both the mines in Mozambique have an estimated reserves of 1 billion tonnes," he said, adding the PSU was eyeing on more such blocks there.

The coal major has already handed over the programme for drilling to the Mozambique government in January.

Earlier coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had said India was seeking infrastructural support from the Mozambique government to make the two blocks operational and the African nation, in turn, had assured India of full cooperation.

CIL, which accounts for over 85% of the domestic production, is scouting for coal properties abroad to bridge the widening demand-supply gap, which is projected at 114 MT this fiscal.

A Parliamentary Panel last month had also asked the coal ministry to ensure fast-tracking of the acquisition process by CIL in order to ensure that 6,000 crore earmarked by it for overseas acquisitions does not remain unutilised.

It had also asked the ministry to expedite the tendering process for acquiring coal blocks in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and USA.