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New Delhi: The government on Monday said the exploration programme of Coal India’s (CIL) twin mines in Mozambique is likely to be completed by middle of next year, subsequent to which future strategies for the development of blocks will be decided.

“The exploration programme is expected to be completed by mid 2014, subsequent to which future strategies of coal mine development will be decided," minister of state for coal Pratik Prakashbapu Patil said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

The minister further said that the first stage of drilling of the mines has been completed and the second stage is under progress.

“The geological mapping of the areas falling under the coal block has been completed and the majority of survey work for delineation of the boundary has also been completed," Patil said.

CIL is carrying out exploration programme in coal blocks of Mozambique through its wholly-owned subsidiary Coal India Africana Limitada (CIAL).

CIAL had won a five-year licence for exploration and development of mines in Mozambique in August 2009.

Two coal blocks—A1 and A2—at Motaize, in Tete Province of Mozambique, are spread over 200 sq km.

Replying to another question, the minister said that CIL had floated a global expression of interest early this year, inviting owners of coal assets or their representatives and investment bankers to bring proposals to CIL for acquiring coal assets overseas.

Patil also said that CIL has made an ad-hoc provision of 25,000 crore in the XIIth Plan period for acquiring coal mines overseas.

“However, the fund shall be spent only upon identification and acquisition of a suitable coal asset in foreign countries," he said.

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