Mozambican government rejects request to grant more coal blocks to India

11 January 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 11 Jan – The Mozambican government has rejected a request to grant further coal blocks to India, the deputy minister for mining resources, Abdul Razak Noormahomed said in Maputo.

The deputy minister justified the decision by saying that, “for now they need to explore the blocks they already have,” and added, “after they have done that we can then decide what we will offer.”

Coal India, which has its headquarters in Calcutta, holds the exploration rights to two oil blocks with an area of 255 square kilometres and, the company has said, it plans to obtain the rights to a further five blocks.

On a visit to Mozambqiue, where he arrived Sunday, India’s coal minister, Sriprakash Jaiswal, made it clear that India was interested in obtaining more coal concessions in the country.

In the last few years, four Indian companies have become involved in coal mining projects in Mozambique and in a few months the government is due to sign a concession contract with Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. For an area in the Changara region of Tete province, where the company is already working. (macauhub)