Coal India says efforts to buy coal mines in Australia in process
The efforts to buy coking coal mines overseas by state-owned CIL in Australia are in process as the company looks to supplement the requirement of country’s metallurgical coal, the PSU said in a recent report.
“Pursuant to the directives of the CIL board, initiatives for acquisition of coking coal assets, with particular focus on Australia being the prime destination for sourcing coking coal to India, are in process,” Coal India Ltd (CIL) said in an annual report of 2016-17.
India’s dependence on imports is particularly heavy on coking coal which is an important ingredient in the steel making process.
“As part of the preparedness towards acquisition initiatives, empanelment of merchant banker/investment banker has been done to render assistance in acquisition process,” the world’s largest coal miner said.
Elaborating further on its initiatives for acquisition of coal mines overseas, the PSU said that Mozambique government has accepted its request for relinquishment of the prospecting licenses for two coal blocks that CIL was given by the African nation.
Coal India Africana Limitada (CIAL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CIL was granted prospecting licenses for two leaseholds, covering a total area of 224 sq km by the Ministry of Mineral resources, Government of Mozambique.
“Based on exploration activities carried out in the license areas from 2012 to 2014, 170 sq km area having no occurrence of coaly horizons till a depth of 500 m, was surrendered to the Government of Mozambique,” it said.
The remaining 54 sq km area was retained for which new licenses were issued.
Based on Geological Report of the license areas, Mineability Study to assess the techno-economic viability of mining of the remaining 54 sq km was conducted in 2015-16.
The Mineability Study revealed that the leasehold areas are not techno-economically viable for commercial mining. Based on this outcome of the study, CIL board approved complete surrendering of the prospecting licenses.
“Pursuant to these directives of the board, applications for surrendering the remaining 54 sq km of the leasehold area for prospecting was submitted to the National Institute of Mines (INAMI), Government of Mozambique,” it added.