Biz honchos vie for CIL mines

Biz honchos vie for CIL mines


New Delhi: Corporate biggies like Rio Tinto, ArcelorMittal, Reliance, Sterlite, Essar and JSW Steel have evinced interest in reviving 18 abandoned mines of Coal India.

To a global expression of interest floated by the PSU in September, 12 companies including the aforementioned have responded, a source in Coal India Ltd (CIL) said.

Among the international metal and mining companies that have given positive response to CIL proposal include Rio Tinto, ArcelorMittal and Titan Mining, Australia.

Domestic firms in the race for reviving the mines, which have estimated coal reserves of 1,647 million tonnes, include Anil Ambani’s Reliance Natural Resources, Monnet Ispat, GVK Power and S&T, among others.

All the 18 mines are spread across West Bengal and Jharkhand and fall under the jurisdictions of Coal India’s subsidiaries like Central Coalfields Ltd, Eastern Coalfields Ltd and Bharat Coking Coal Ltd, a senior official in the Navratna PSU said.

After scrutiny of the received proposals, CIL would finalise tender documents to form individual joint ventures on a competitive basis with each of the companies, he added.

Initially, CIL had planned to revive 26 of its abandoned mines, but later reduced it to 18 on the basis of scrutiny by CMPDI, the planning arm of the coal major.

As the company’s global expression of interest received just two responses in the beginning, it extended the last date for submission of bids by a month to November 12.

According to CIL sources, companies roped in for revival of the abandoned mines would have access to only 50% of the total output from the coal property.

Asked about the size of investment needed for revival of the mines and the time-frame by which production is likely to be commissioned, the official said that details have not yet been worked out.