KOLKATA: Encouraging results from the first round of exploration at Coal India'sMozambique coal blocks have prompted the company to embark on the second round of exploration at an investment of $60 million (Rs 340 crore).
"We have placed order with Tribeni Earth Movers, the same company that undertook the first round of exploratory investigation at the block. The preliminary results of this exploration have been encouraging and we have decided to start the second round of explorations," a senior CILBSE -1.23 % official said.
Samples from the first round of exploration will arrive at the company's testing facility in India soon, which will help ascertain the quality of the coal present in the block. In the second round, CIL will drill 30,000 metres on the block drilling between 100 to 150 boreholes. Each borehole would be between 200 m and 800 m.
"The third round of exploration will involve drilling another 35,000 metres and we hope to complete the entire process, analyse and ascertain the reserves in about a year and a half. After this we hope to apply for all the clearances and appoint amine developer. We hope to start mining in about two years," the CIL official said.
A wholly owned subsidiary of CIL, Coal India Africana Limitada, owns two coal blocks in Mozambique. The company hit coal seams during exploration in December last year when it drilled four boreholes. Once the quantum of reserves is ascertained, CIL plans to offload 15% of its holding in Coal India Africana to an entity nominated by the authorities in Mozambique.