Indian state-run coal mining company Coal India is mulling ceding two of its coal blocks in Mozambique due to infrastructure problems.
The plan to return Mozambique assets, the company’s only overseas project, will affect its plans to boost its production with international acquisitions, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Coal India acquired the blocks in Mozambique’s Tete province in 2009 in a government-to-government transaction.
The company faced several hurdles such as procedural delays in outsourcing of drilling contracts and other infrastructural problems like lack of progress in building roads, railway lines and ports.
Coal India senior executive told the publication that the company will decide on whether to continue with the plan in 2014, following an assessment of the reserves and coal quality at these blocks.
As per Mozambique government’s recent estimates, these two blocks comprise nearly a billion tons of high-quality coal.
Coal India, the largest coal company worldwide by output, meets more than 80% of India’s coal needs, reducing the country’s dependency on overseas producers.
Coal India had planned to transport all of the coal from the Mozambique blocks to its home country and sell it to clients at discounts to international rates.
The company is assessing various other investment proposals abroad, and is planning to spend around $11bn from its cash reserves to fund acquisitions.