Companies

International Coal Ventures spots two assets Down Under

Vishwanath Kulkarni New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on April 15, 2011

coal.eps

High-level team leaves for Australia to carry out due diligence

International Coal Ventures Pvt Ltd (ICVL), a PSU joint venture, has identified two coking coal properties in Australia for a possible buyout.

ICVL is a consortium promoted by top public sector entities such as SAIL, NMDC, Coal India Ltd, RINL and NTPC to secure overseas coal assets — both thermal and coking coal.

A high-level official team consisting of the Steel Secretary, Mr P.K. Mishra, and the SAIL Chairman, Mr C.S.Verma, is leaving on Friday night for Australia to carry out the due diligence of the two properties.

“We hope to conclude one or two deals in Australia in the next one year,” said Mr C.S. Verma, Chairman of SAIL. However, Mr Verma, who is also the Chairman of ICVL, did not disclose details of the deal.

The PSU joint venture has been aggressively scouting for overseas buys to secure mineral assets for its stakeholders. The company has been active in countries such as Indonesia, Mozambique and Australia, but has not concluded any deals so far.

ICVL recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indonesian Government to explore coal reserves in the province of Central Kalimantan.

The urgency to secure overseas coking coal assets assumes significance as the country is going to increasingly rely on imports to a large extent to meet the growing demand of the key ingredient used in steel making. Each tonne of steel produced requires a tonne of coking coal. For example, SAIL imports about 70 per cent of its coking coal requirement or about 10.5 million tonnes per annum, of which 60 per cent comes from Australia.

The flooding of Australian mines last year impacted the availability of coking coal in the world market resulting in spiralling prices of the commodity. This, in turn, has resulted in increased input cost for the steel makers affecting their profitability. Coking coal prices have shot up by more than a fourth in the past six months.

Formed in May 2009, ICVL has the mandate to ensure supply of imported coking coal of at least five million tonnes to SAIL and RINL by 2011-12. It also seeks to own coking coal reserves of 500 million tonnes by 2019-20.

Published on April 15, 2011
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