Mumbai: Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd’s Australian unit plans to raise up to A$100 million (Rs344.96 crore) through an initial public offer to develop a coal mine there, an official at the parent company said.
The unit, Gujarat NRE Australia Ltd, plans to invest A$150 million to more than quadruple capacity at a mine near Sydney, Gujarat NRE Coke’s President Sumit Kumar Khaitan told Reuters on 2 March.
“We will file a prospectus with the Australian securities regulator by April,” he said over phone from Kolkata. “We have already appointed BBY Ltd as the investment bankers and Ernst & Young Australia as the advisers.” The Indian firm currently holds 99% of Gujarat NRE Australia Ltd, which owns the rights to mine the coalfield, which has estimated reserves of 300 million tonnes of hard coking coal. The company would decide on stake dilution after completing the valuation of the mine, Khaitan said.
“We are currently producing 1 million tonnes coal per annum from the mine. After the investment, we expect to raise output to about 4.5 million tonnes,” he added.
The metallurgical coke producer expects to cash in on rising demand from fast-expanding Indian steel firms.
“India is dependent on the import of coking coal. With so many steel plants in the pipeline, demand will go up sharply in the next four years,” Khaitan said.
Gujarat NRE has increasingly focused on the mineral rich Australian region to expand its asset base.
In October 2006, it acquired a majority stake in Australia’s Zelos Resources to tap opportunities in gold, copper and other metal ore exploration.
Earlier last year it also picked up minority stakes in Pike River Coal Co. Ltd., a unit of New Zealand Oil & Gas, and Rey Resources Inc.