"CIL (Coal India Ltd) is considering a proposal to register a wholly-owned subsidiary in South Africa for acquisition and development of coal assets in that country," Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

"CIL has appointed Deloitte as the consultant for advising on the regulatory framework in South Africa and processes of registering a wholly-owned subsidiary, if required," he said.

The company had signed an MoU in September 2011 with the organisation owned by the provincial government of Limpopo for identification, development and operations of coal mines in the Province.

"Discussions are in progress for implementation of various activities envisaged in the MoU," the minister said. Coal India had earlier said that it plans to form a panel of consultants which would help the PSU acquire, develop and operate coal mines overseas.

The coal major is eyeing assets abroad to meet the domestic demand. In order to tide over the fossil fuel shortages, the government is also planning to import coal.

Coal India Africana Limitada (CIAL), a CIL subsidiary, had won 5-year licence for exploration and development of mines in Mozambique in August, 2009.

Two coal blocks - A1 and A2 - at Motaize, in Tete Province of Mozambique, are spread over 200 sq km.

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