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ICVL hopes to acquire at least one mine within current fiscal

ICVL hopes to acquire at least one mine within current fiscal

New Delhi: International Coal Ventures Ltd (ICVL) today expressed hope of acquiring at least one asset abroad by the end of the current fiscal.

“We are carrying out due diligence in three-four assets at various levels. Even if we are 25% successful, at least one assets will be acquired by the end of the current fiscal," ICVL chairman C S Verma told reporters here.

ICVL was incorporated on May 2009 with 10,000 crore authorised capital by five state-run firms. SAIL and CIL each hold 28% stake in the special purpose vehicle aimed at acquiring coal assets abroad. RINL, NMDC and NTPC each hold 14% stake in ICVL.

Verma, who is also SAIL chairman and steel secretary P K Mishra recently visited Columbia and the US for identifying assets. However, no formal announcement has been made so far.

The continuous search of ICVL, empowered with the autonomy and freedom accorded to Navratna firms without formal Navratna status, for acquiring overseas mining assets is yet to bear fruit, although it has carried out due-diligence on several properties in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Mongolia and Mozambique among others.

Verma said either ICVL or SAIL would bid for the Hagijak mine in Afganisthan, but a final decision would be taken at a meeting before 2 August, which is the last date for submitting bids.

ICVL had in May said that the consortium was close to buying out some stake in Singapore-based MEC Coal, but nothing concrete has come out so far.

It will also soon open an office in Indonesia and appoint a consultant for taking up exploration activities in Central Kalimantan of the country.

Meanwhile, Verma said that the coking coal requirement of SAIL would go up to 17-18 million tonnes per annum in next two years coinciding with the company’s 70,000 crore expansion plan which will take its hot metal capacity from 14.6 mtpa now to 24 mtpa by the end of 2012-13.

The current coking coal requirement of the company stands at 11-12 million tonnes of which only 30% is met from indigenous sources and the remaining 70% comes through imports.

Verma said efforts were being made for the development of four mtpa coking coal mine at Tasra for which all-statutory clearances were in place. The mine would start with around one mtpa production next fiscal and it would take three years to reach full capacity.

SAIL, however, does not need to worry about its current and future requirement of iron ore, an important raw material for steel making, he said, adding that it has already bagged forest clearances for three leases, out of six, and detailed project report would be ready within the next two months.

“The mining plan on Chiria will be readied subsequently. We will invest 3,500 crore. It may take two years to start production," he said.

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