CIL to acquire three coal blocks in Mozambique

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Kolkata, Aug 5(UNI) Coal India Ltd (CIL) plans to acquire three coal blocks in Mozambique as part of its expanding overseas exploration activities targeting Africa.

" We have identified three virgin blocks in Mozambique. We are sending a team there this month for this purpose. We are also planning to go to South Africa and Malawi-- all in government to government ventures," CIL chairman Partha Sarathi Bhattacharyya today said.

Mr Bhattacharyya said CIL would acquire the blocks, largely of thermal coal, through International Coal Ventures Limited (IVCL), a special purpose vehicle, constituted with five public sector units, for acquiring overseas assets.

The other PSU constituents of IVCL are : NTPC, SAIL, RINL and NMDC.

Mr Bhattacharyya said CIL would shortly receive Expression of Interest from private parties for handing over of 18 abandoned mines in Jharkhand and West Bengal.

" These mines have a reserve of about 800 million tonnes," he said.

CIL produced 379.69 million tonnes of coal in 2007-08, against 360.61 million tonnes in the previous year.

It recorded a profit before tax of Rs. 8,738.46 crore in 2007-08 as against Rs. 8,622 crore in the previous year. Last year's PBT was calculated taking into account of a total outgo of Rs. 1,561 crore on account of 15 per cent rise in the basic and dearness allowances in the wages for the company's employees, he said.

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