Indian partnership seeks operator for coal mine in Mozambique

6 October 2016

International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL), a partnership consisting of five state-owned groups in India, is awaiting the selection of a new operator to resume coal mining in Mozambique, reported daily Indian newspaper the Economic Times.

An ICVL senior official told the newspaper the coal mining business is becoming increasingly expensive and added that the partnership is looking for a company that is interested in working as an operator for coal assets in Mozambique and one that expects a lower payment.

Coal mining in Mozambique was suspended last December when the contract with the previous operator ended, and since then the partnership has called for proposals by interested parties.

The ICVL official also told the newspaper that this process should take a few months and that until then operations in the coal mine in Mozambique will remain suspended.

ICVL, which brings together state groups Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Coal India Limited (CIL), in 2014 paid US$50 million for the 65% stake owned by Rio Tinto in the Benga mine and 100% of two coal assets called Zambeze and Tete Oriental.

Benga, the only mine that is in business, has been losing money, like the Brazilian group Vale operation that loses about US$500 million per year in Mozambique.

ICVL has already invested US$180 million in Mozambique and taken on a loan of US$30 million from the Export Import Bank of India,, with which it is negotiating na additional US$150 million. (macauhub)