Coal India Ltd to sign deal with South African firm for joint acquisition of coal mines. Picture: A worker sits on a truck being loaded with coal at a railway coal yard on the outskirts of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad 25 November, 2013.Reuters

The board of Coal India Limited (CIL) has approved inking a deal with a South African government entity for acquisition of coal mines. The board's decision has been conveyed to African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation Ltd (AFMFC) to decide the date and place for signing of the agreement.

"The CIL board has accorded approval to the proposal for execution of MoU between CIL (Coal India) and African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation, an entity owned by the government of South Africa for identification, acquisition, exploration, development and operation of coal assets in South Africa," Press Trust of India reported.

Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier in August informed Parliament that the state-controlled coal mining firm is looking at entering into an agreement with the South African government to jointly acquiring mines in the African nation.

"CIL is further considering signing of a MoU with a mining company owned by the government of South Africa to jointly undertake identification, acquisition and operation of coal assets in South Africa," he had informed the Lok Sabha.

In addition, he had also said that coal is not exported from India to the international market and hence there can be no comparison between domestic coal prices vs. international coal prices, PTI added.

Meanwhile, in other news, workers of Coal India are all set to join a nation-wide strike on Sept. 2. The workers are demanding minimum monthly salary of Rs. 18,000. In a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Aug. 20, the Kolkata-based company said its workers would join the bank and trade unions.

"We have received a communication of strike notice dated 19th August 2016 for general strike on 2nd September 2016. Efforts are being made for conciliation process. If they resort to strike, it will affect production and dispatch of coal," CIL said in its filing with the BSE.

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