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India denied extra coal deals in Mozambique

MAPUTO — Mozambique on Monday denied emerging industrial giant India five more coal concessions saying the Asian nation should first develop sites where deals have already been struck.
India will grab a slice of Mozambique's 23-billion-tonne coal reserves when mining starts next year under a contract with Jindal Steel and Power Limited Mozambique Minerais, part of its third-largest steel producer the Jindal group.

However, state-owned Coal India Limited, which will start initial exploratory work on two blocks in the northwestern Tete province in May, was refused further concessions.

"Our concern is that they should develop what they have first," Mozambique's deputy mineral resources minister Abdul Razak told reporters in Maputo after meeting an Indian delegation led by coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal.

"Jindal will start exploitation in 2012," Razak added, confirming that Mozambique will sign the exploration agreement soon.

The Indian company will invest 200 million dollars (155 million euro) to produce 10 million tonnes of coal a year and eventually employ 1,600 people, its Mozambican representative Manoj Gupta told AFP.
India is heavily dependent on coal for power generation and the country is currently scouting for sources to make up its deficit of 70 million tonnes a year.

Jaiswal will sign a memorandum of understanding with Mozambican mineral resources minister Esperanca Bias on Tuesday to fund the 40-million-dollar (31 million euro) construction of two coal technical training centres.

Brazilian mining giant Vale and Australia's Riversdale together hope to export six million tonnes of coal this year when production starts.
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