CIL to invite bids for exploring Mozambique mines soon
New Delhi: State-owned Coal India (CIL) will soon invite fresh bids for exploration of its two coal mines in Mozambique having reserves of over one billion tonnes, according to sources.
"Very soon, CIL will float tenders for exploration of its two coal blocks in Mozambique," sources said.
The development comes at a time when the country is facing coal shortage, estimated at 142 million tonnes in the last fiscal.
CIL, the world's largest coal producer, had invited tenders twice -- first in 2010, which was cancelled due to shortcomings and the second in June, 2011, for exploratory drilling of its blocks.
The company that was shortlisted during the second tender in June had put some additional conditions as a result of which the tender became invalid, a CIL official had said earlier.
The production from the twin mines is scheduled from 2015 but analysts said it may get delayed as CIL is yet to to zero in on a company for exploration.
The two coal blocks -- A1 and A2 -- at Motaize, in Tete Province of Mozambique, are spread over an area of 200 square km and their exploration may take over two years, as per CIL.
The company had planned production from blocks from 2015.
Coal India Africana Limitada (CIAL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CIL, had won a five year licence for exploration and development of the blocks in Mozambique in August, 2009.
CIL, which accounts for over 80 percent of India' production, is scouting for coal properties abroad to bridge the widening demand-supply gap estimated to touch 200 million tonnes in 2016-17.