Tipper trucks drive past a coal yard (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Coal India To Appoint Merchant Banker For Acquiring Overseas Mines 

State-owned Coal India Ltd. (CIL) is looking at appointing a merchant banker to assist it in acquiring assets overseas so as to enhance the nation's energy security.

The government is making efforts to reduce India's dependence on the import of fossil fuel. CIL intends to acquire coal mines overseas with a view to importing the produce to India and enhancing the energy security of the nation, an official said.

To accomplish this mission, CIL has embarked upon the process of empanelment of internationally reputed merchant banker/investment banker for rendering assistance in acquiring coal assets abroad, according to the official cited above.

CIL, world's largest coal miner which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production, is eyeing one billion tonnes of output by 2020.

The company had earlier said that it did not find Mozambique suitable for mining and surrendered the lease, seeking an alternate location from the government. Coal India's board had earlier approved signing of a pact with African Exploration Mining & Finance Corporation SOC Ltd. (AEMFC), owned by the South African government, for acquisition of coal mines in that country.

"The CIL board has accorded approval to the proposal for execution of MoU between CIL and African Exploration Mining & Finance Corporation, SOC Ltd., an entity owned by the government of South Africa for identification, acquisition, exploration, development and operation of coal assets in South Africa," the PSU had earlier said in a report.

The PSU is eyeing 598.60 million tonne coal production in the current fiscal.