New Delhi, India, 23 Dec – The Indian Minister for Coal, Sriprakash Jaiswall, has said that Indian state companies are seeking to acquire mines in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique when he travels to some African countries in January, 2011.
Speaking to the Bloomberg news agency the minister said that, “the current priority is to acquire coal mines,” adding, “we already have two mines in Mozambique and the Indian government plans to buy more mines both in Mozambique and in other African countries.”
Coal India, Ltd, the world’s largest coal producer, and Neyveli Lignite Corp. are two of the state Indian companies that plan to buy coal assets abroad to feed an economy that is growing at a rate of over 8 percent per year.
Jaiswal also said that domestic coal supply was likely to be lower than demand by 83 million tons in the financial year ending on 31 March, 2011, with Coal India failing to meet its annual production target.
The minister said that Coal India had been delayed in “the game” and “should have started ten years ago in order to now be preparing for large acquisitions.”
The Indian coal minister is due to visit South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi and Swaziland on a tour beginning on 4 January, 2011. (macauhub)