ICVL has been set up as a Joint Venture Company with the SAIL, CIL, RINL, NMDC and NTPC as promoter companies, for securing metallurgical coal and thermal coal assets in overseas territories. NTPC later decided to opt out of the consortium as it was seeking thermal coal blocks, while other members were keen on coking coal.
“CMDs of SAIL, RINL and NMDC among others are currently in Mozambique to examine some of the assets which are under consideration for acquisition either fully or partly,” a senior officer with the Ministry of Steel told PTI.
The team may also examine some of the assets in South Africa and other countries, they added.
ICVL had earlier evinced interest to acquire Riversdale Mining’s coal mines in Mozambique owned by Rio Tinto.
The Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto took over Riversdale Mining in 2011 for $4 billion by buying out Tata Steel’s over 24% stake and Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional’s (CSN) entire 19.35% holding in Riversdale.
ICVL was also in the race then and even hired Citigroup to assess the potential of a counter bid. However, it finally refrained from bidding for Riversdale, which has four coal reserves estimated to a total of 1.7 billion tones in Mozambique.
According to a report by the Ministry of Steel though a number of companies from the private sector as well as the public sector, including ICVL, are in process of identifying and acquiring coking coal assets abroad, the efforts need to be more focused and required to be supported by the government through diplomatic dialogues.(Business Standard)