CS Verma, Joint Chairman of Steel Authority of India (SAIL) informed that ICVL has identified at least four or five good coking coal mines in Australia, the US and Mozambique for acquisition.
International Coal Ventures (ICVL), a consortium led by SAIL, is conducting due diligence on these assets. It may be recalled that ICVL was formed in 2009 by public sector firms like NTPC, Coal India, NMDC and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam to acquire overseas mining assets. NTPC, which had a 14 percent stake, left the venture already.
Verma hinted that Coal India is still on board and continues to attend most of the meetings of the consortium.
Speaking to media persons, Verma said there is a thin line between failure and success. The consortium must see the price levels, the valuations, weigh legal angles. It must also study all these aspects. But he expressed hope that something good may happen this time.
He said now is the perfect time to buy overseas coal assets, considering the global commodity slowdown as well as the relative stability in prices after a long period of considerable volatility – one of the major reasons why ICVL could not achieve success.
Verma informed that ICVL has been aggressive in the past, like the way it is now. There were a number of bids which were getting matured but it had to abandon the process because there was a high degree of volatility in the prices, Verma said.
Apart from prospecting of iron ore leases, followed by mining, SAIL would build a plant only if all the basic inputs for steel making are made available by the local government, Verma aded.