Hyderabad: India’s National Mineral Development Corporation and four state-owned units have formed a consortium to bid for overseas mines with a focus on coking coal assets in Indonesia and Australia. The venture, partnering with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd or RINL, Steel Authority of India Ltd, National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd and Coal India Ltd, will be modelled on ONGC Videsh, the overseas unit of oil explorer ONGC Ltd, and will involve investments of between Rs4,000 crore and Rs4,500 crore. The idea behind the venture is to meet the coking coal requirements of Indian state-owned steel firms and, to a lesser extent, of power companies, said chairman and managing director of Rs4,150 crore NMDC, B. Ramesh Kumar.
“The consortium will bid for coal mines world over with focus on mines in Indonesia and Australia,” Kumar said. Each of the five partners will pump in between Rs500 crore to Rs1,000 crore as its contribution.
The board of directors of NMDC approved the proposal to form the consortium at its meeting last week. The other partners are expected to obtain approvals from their respective boards this month and then seek the Union government’s nod for the venture.