February 6, 2017 / 8:57 AM / 8 months ago

India keen to buy foreign coking coal assets - minister

India's Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal attends a seminar during the second day of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat January 12, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

REUTERS - Coal India Ltd, the world’s top coal miner, plans to acquire coking coal assets abroad as India lacks technology to economically develop local reserves, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said.

“The recent spurt in global coal prices, particularly for coking coal, is expected to create an encouraging scenario for such acquisition process,” Goyal told lawmakers in a written reply.

Coking coal futures on the Singapore Commodity Exchange soared in the second half of last year as top consumer China clamped down on local production as part of a campaign against pollution.

They have since dropped by about 40 percent to around $170 a tonne, but are still double what they were in mid-2016.

Coal India has surrendered two mining licenses in Mozambique, and currently does not own any foreign coal assets, he said.

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan in New Delhi; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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