Coal India looking to acquire mines in US, Australia and Indonesia


State-run Coal India (COAL.BO) is in talks to buy mines from U.S.-based Peabody Energy and Massey Energy , according to a media report citing the company’s chairman. “They expressed interest in offering certain mines to us and we are looking at that,” Partha Bhattacharyya said in a report by the Associated Press carried in the Economic Times newspaper on Saturday. “The discussions are continuing,” the report quoting him as saying. He declined to provide further details.

The Economic Times:

Coal India has budgeted $1.2 billion to buy assets in the US, Indonesia and Australia during the year ending March as it battles a widening gap between domestic coal supply and demand. The company, which last month raised $3.4 billion in the nation’s biggest-ever initial public offering, has near-monopoly control of India’s coal market. Indian companies are increasingly turning to the US to secure vital commodities to fuel the nation’s breakneck growth.

This year, Reliance Industries — India’s most valuable company by market value — bought stakes in three US shale gas companies for a combined $3.4 billion, the largest Indian investment in the US ever made. In 2007, India’s Essar Group acquired Minnesota Steel and is investing over $1 billion to build two plants and run its iron ore mine near Nashwauk, in northern Minnesota. This March, the company spent $600 million to acquire US-based Trinity Coal with mines in Kentucky, West Virginia.

St Louis, Missouri-based Peabody Energy says it is the world’s largest private sector coal company, with 9 billion tonnes of reserves. Richmond, Virginia-based Massey Energy says it is the largest coal producer in the Central Appalachian region, which accounted for 20% of United States coal production in 2007.

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