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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Coal Videsh eyes Zimbabwe block

Coal Videsh eyes Zimbabwe block

February 06, 2006 13:59 IST
Coal Videsh Ltd is bidding for drilling, exploration and mining rights in a 75-sqkm greenfield Zimbabwean coal block in the Whangi province.

It plans to set up a joint venture with Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings Pvt Ltd for the purpose.

The company, Coal India's international arm, is also in the process of firming up plans for exploration rights for a coalfield in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh, adjoining Malda in West Bengal.

"We are in advanced stages of negotiation with ZESA to set up a joint venture for the Whangi greenfield coal block. If the deal comes through, it will be our first overseas project," an official told Business Standard.

The Central Mine Planning and Design Institute will carry out the exploration work on behalf of CVL in Zimbabwe. The drilling expenses are pegged at Rs 6 crore.

In an attempt to get a hold abroad, CVL is also firming up plans to acquire stakes in coal mines in Mozambique, Australia and South Africa. CVL officials said the company may go for a mix of outright purchase, block allotment or take up an unexplored area for exploration.

The company is also exploring possibilities in Australia for coking coal and in Mozambique for coking and low-ash non-coking coal and in South Africa for low-ash non-coking thermal coal.

"We are scouting for only that type of coal that is not easily available in the country in substantial quantity," the official said. Officials said steps were being taken to safeguard the price of coal from external factors.

Utpal Bhaskar in New Delhi