ICVL seeks foreign help
International Coal Ventures (ICVL) is in talks with three New Zealand-based coal mining firms and a US-based coal company for buyouts worth $450-500 million.
The talks, if successful, will give India access to 220 million tonnes of coal reserves, enough to reduce country’s import dependence by about 20%. The talks have been facilitated by Hindustan Global Resources (HGR), an Australian firm engaged in exploration, mining and consulting.
The acquisitions will help ICVL get access to both thermal and coking coal reserves. Coking coal is used by steel makers and is in short supply in the country forcing a 28 million-tonne import in 2007-08. Thermal coal is used by power plants and is in demand.
Though the size of New Zealand-based coking and thermal coal blocks is nearly 20 million tonne, the acquisition of these blocks would give ICVL access to neighbouring 60 mt of coal reserves.
Though the exploration work is over, it is yet to obtain a permit. ICVL is also exploring coal deals, both acquisition and supply deals, in Indonesia, Australia, Zimbabwe, Russia and Canada.