Coal India Limited will exploratory rights to two coal mining blocks in Mozambique, involving investment of up to Rs800 crore, as part of a bilateral programme between the government of the African country and the Government of India.
''We have promised to create a modern technology centre and a professional training institute in Mozambique,'' PS Bhattacharyya chairman of CIL said, adding that of the two blocks A1 and A2, the former is the most promising and has both thermal and coking coal assets.
Early estimates suggest that the two coal blocks at Motaize (in Tete Province) have over one billion tonnes of coal reserves.
The concession agreement, which will formally be announced during the Indo-Mozambique working group meeting later this month, may involve an investment of Rs700-800 crore by CIL in coal mining and production in the two blocks in a span of 5 years.
According to early estimates, it may develop a production capacity of 5 million tonne a year in the first phase. The mines will be developed as a joint venture with either the Mozambique government or its nominee.
The local partner will hold a minority stake of 10-15 per cent. CIL can export 85 per cent of the produce from the assets to India.
CIL will, also invest in a mine technology hub and set up an institute in the lines of Indian Institute of Mines and spend Rs100 crore towards distributing artificial limbs in the war ravaged country.
The agreement follows wide ranging talks by the Indo-Mozambique Coal Working Group in April 2007.
The two sides drew up a roadmap for future co-operation based on development of a coal project as a hub. Subsequently, several visits were also exchanged by the representatives of Coal India Limited and the government of Mozambique.