India is looking at acquiring coking coal assets abroad as the country lacks the requisite technology for the commercial exploitation of reserves, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal told Parliament on Monday.
State miner "Coal India Ltd (CIL) is scouting for acquiring coking coal assets abroad, as India is faced with constraints of techno-commercially viable domestic coking coal reserves," the minister told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
"The recent spurt in global coal prices, particularly for coking coal, is expected to create an encouraging scenario for such an acquisition process," he said.
Coking coal, as distinct from the thermal variety, is used for iron and steel production.
In this connection, the Coal India board has approved execution of a memorandum of understanding between CIL and the South African government-run African Exploration Mining and Finance Corp. for identification, acquisition, exploration, development and operation of coal assets in South Africa.
CIL Chairman S. Bhattacharya has earlier said that the company is targeting acquisition of coking coal assets in Australia and Indonesia.
Goyal also told the Rajya Sabha that Coal India has surrendered two mining licenses in Mozambique, and currently does not own any foreign coal assets.