Companies

Australia's Thiess seeks to mine more value in India

| Updated on: Feb 15, 2011
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Thiess Pty Ltd, the world's largest contract mining company based in Australia, will partner with Sedgman, a global leader in coal processing, to set up coal processing infrastructure in India.

Thiess has a $5.5-billion contract mining project in India to develop and operate a greenfield coal mine for NTPC at Pakri Barwadih, Jharkhand. It plans to expand its operations in India to large-scale public infrastructure and services after its coal mine infrastructure business stabilises in India, according to its Executive General Manager, Strategy and Development, Mr Mark Lynch.

Addressing a group of journalists on a tour organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government, Mr Lynch said Thiess, a $7.5-billion company, part of Leighton Holdings, has identified India as a key market that will contribute to its growth. The company's core strength is in the entire gamut of coal mining, including coal handling, processing, loading and rail construction.

With the opening up of coal mining operations in India, Thiess' strength puts it in an ideal position to exploit a growing opportunity. India is the third largest producer of coal.

Sedgman, an independent public limited company, is a specialist in coal processing and Thiess has a 32 per cent stake in it. Both these companies will jointly look at opportunities to set up coal processing facilities. The companies are open to partnering with long term players, he said.

While declining to put a figure to the investments planned in India, he said an indication of the scale of operations of the company may be seen from its presence in Australia and Indonesia, where it has invested over $2 billion in each location in the ‘plant fleet', that is all the equipment that goes into its mining operations.

Its entry into infrastructure projects is a long term plan for India where it will target water projects including dams and pipelines, desalination plants and road projects.

On the impact of the recent floods and the cyclone that ravaged the coal mines in Queensland, Mr Lynch said its presence in Australia in various sectors including infrastructure and construction will enable it to achieve its targets.

Published on February 15, 2011

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