Coal India (CIL), the world’s biggest coal miner, on Wednesday said it has decided to relinquish about three-fourths of the two blocks it was allotted in Mozambique in 2009 for exploration and development.
Coal India Africana Limitada (CIAL), a fully-owned subsidiary of the state-owned firm, was allotted two leasehold licences for extraction of coal of about 224 square kilometre in Tete province of Mozambique in August 2009.
The company’s board has approved retaining “54 sq km of leasehold licence area which will be of actual interest with coal bearing horizon occurring within a 500-metre depth and relinquish the remaining 170 sq km area out of total leasehold licence area of 224 sq km”, CIL said in a regulatory filing.
The decision to relinquish was taken based on Interim Geological Report prepared by CMPDIL, a 100 per cent planning subsidiary of CIL, it said.
CIAL had won a five-year licence for exploration and development of mines in Mozambique in 2009. The two coal blocks — A1 and A2 — are located at Motaize, in Tete province of Mozambique. CIL had registered CIAL in 2009.
In September last year, CIL said its subsidiary in the African nation undertook exploratory activities including drilling of around 35,000 metres in the two coal blocks.
It also sent coal samples for analysis at the labs of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd (CMPDIL).
In the last few years, the coal major has been eyeing assets abroad to meet the domestic demand.
In December last year, the government said CIL is mulling a proposal to register a wholly-owned subsidiary in South Africa to acquire and develop coal assets and has appointed Deloitte as the consultant for advising on the regulatory framework.
Shares of the coal miner on Tuesday rose by 3.33 per cent to settle at Rs 434.05 apiece on the BSE.