Coal India (CIL) has come out with bids, inviting companies to take up drilling work of its twin mines in Mozambique that have reserves of over 1 billion tonnes.
"Coal India Africana Limitada (a CIL subsidiary) intends to invite Expression of Interest (EoI) for selection of companies to undertake drilling activities in its coal blocks is Mozambique," Coal India said on its website.
The EoI which had opened last week, would close on May 25, the company said.
The development comes at a time when the country is facing demand supply gap of coal which widened to 161.5 million tonnes (MT) in the last fiscal.
CIL, the world's largest coal producer, had earlier invited tenders twice.
For the first time it was in 2010 which got cancelled due to shortcomings and for the second in June, 2011. The company that was shortlisted during the second tender had put some additional conditions as a result the tender became invalid, a CIL official had said earlier.
The production from the twin mines is scheduled from 2015 but according to analysts it may get delayed as CIL is yet to to zero in on a company for exploration.
In 2010-11 the shortfall of coal was to the tune of 132.8 MT while in 2009-10 it was 90.5 MT.