Coal India budgets $1bn for foreign acquisitions

State-run company Coal India Ltd. said Thursday it has budgeted $1 billion for foreign acquisitions this fiscal year to bolster local supplies.

An executive with the firm told the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) they are evaluating several investment proposals.

Increasing demand from its domestic market, especially power producers, is pushing Coal of India — the world's largest coal firm by output — to seek more overseas assets.

Its new Indian mining projects have been delayed in the permitting process by the government, particularly the environment ministry.

The company has signed an initial agreement with South Africa’s Limpopo provincial government to develop coal mines.

Otherwise, it is drilling in two coal blocks it owns in Mozambique to assess the size and quality of the coal deposits.

Image: Partha Sarathi Sahana, Creative Commons, Flickr