NEW DELHI: International Coal Ventures Ltd (ICVL), which is all set to buy a coking coal asset in the Australia’s Bowen Basin, is also eyeing a 10 per cent stake in a greenfield asset in the region, sources said.
ICVL is a consortium of SAIL, Coal India, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam and NMDC formed to acquire coal assets abroad.
“ICVL is close to acquiring a coking coal asset in the Bowen Basin. It is also participating in a bidding process to acquire 10 per cent equity stake in a greenfield coking coal asset in the area,” a steel ministry source said.
ICVL Chairman C S Verma had on March 22 said the first acquisition was to happen very soon and all necessary formalities had been completed. He, however, did not disclose any further details.
“Our board has approved it. We are taking the necessary approvals from the competent authority and going ahead,” he had said, adding that the deal was likely to be worth over Rs 1,500 crore.
ICVL is empowered with the autonomy to acquire assets up to Rs 1,500 crore on its own. Beyond the limit, it has to take approval from higher authorities. SAIL is the lead partner of ICVL.
Bowen Basin is rich in coal resources and contributes significantly to the overall production of coal in Australia, which meets nearly 40 per cent of India’s coking coal imports.
With the aim of owning 500 million tonnes of coking coal reserves by 2019-20, ICVL was set up in 2009 at the initiative of the steel ministry, but it is yet to taste success.
ICVL’s objectives are acquisition of coal assets and equity participation in operating coal companies for primarily sourcing coking coal on a long-term sustainable basis for the promoter companies.
Meanwhile, the company has entered into an agreement with the New Zealand and Indonesia governments to explore joint development of coking coal assets and for undertaking a joint feasibility study for setting up a mineral processing facility or steel plant respectively.
It is also exploring investment opportunities in the US, Colombia, Canada, South Africa, Russia and Mozambique, the source said.