Coal India may develop mines with other firms

Coal India may develop mines with other firms

Kolkata: State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL), will not allot neglected coking coal blocks to other companies, but is open to work jointly with them to develop these blocks, a top official told reporters.

“These blocks are owned by CIL. We will not hand over any blocks to any company. We are open to working with them jointly under some arrangements," chairman Partha. S. Bhattacharyya said on Monday.

On Saturday, the Financial Express newspaper reported Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Tata Steel had asked the government to allocate CIL’s neglected coking coal blocks to them for exploration.

“We have identified a coking coal block with a reserve of 7 million tones, under the command area of Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), which would be developed jointly by Coal India and Tata Steel," Bhattacharya said on the sidelines of an industry body meet.

Coal India is also in talks with SAIL for developing another 7-8 blocks, he added.

The coal miner has shortlisted 12 companies to form partnerships for importing coal and developing mining properties abroad, Bhattacharyya said.

“We will start the final selection today, and the entire process is expected to be over by March 2010," he said.

CIL’s production in the current financial year is expected to touch 435 million tonnes from 403.73 million tonnes last year, he added.

Coal India, which plans an initial public offering next fiscal, plans to invest up to 30 billion rupees for equity stakes in domestic as well as international mine projects, he said.