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CIL setting up subsidiary for global operations

Our Bureau

Kolkata , June 15

COAL India Ltd (CIL) is actively on the job of setting up a separate subsidiary — Coal Videsh Ltd — to undertake coal mining activities abroad.

The new subsidiary may be a wholly-owned one of CIL or it may a joint venture corporate identity, according to Mr Shashi Kumar, Chairman of CIL.

Talking to newspersons here, Mr Kumar said that he was not ruling out the possibility of joining hands with Steel Authority of India (SAIL) in the proposed subsidiary, In fact, SAIL had already shown interest and a round of discussion has been held with them.

He explained that despite the country having huge reserves of coal, the coal reserve scenario in regard to metallurgical grade coking coal and low ash non-coking was not comfortable. This would make the country perennially dependent on imports of these varieties. Keeping this in mind, CIL has decided to explore the possibility of developing mines aboard, to initially meet the domestic requirement of imported coal. In future, the proposed venture might export its surplus coal to other countries.

He said that CIL had already received offers from Australia, Mozambique and Iran for developing both coking and non-coking mines there. Separate technical team would visit these countries once the nitty-gritty of the formation of the proposed subsidiary was over.

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