Mumbai, India — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 December 2010 – International Coal Ventures “’ a consortium of five Indian state-run companies including Steel Authority of India and Coal India “’ may bid for Australian-based and listed Riversdale Mining Limited “’ which is focused on coal in Mozambique and South Africa.
Reporting this latest development on the Riversdale issue, the Business Standard said that other companies planning a bid for the Australian firm as part of the consortium were iron ore miner NMDC, power producer NTPC and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.
Riversdale had no immediate comment on the report.
Mining giant Rio Tinto made a US$3.5 billion (R24 billion) bid approach for Riversdale earlier this month, setting up a potential takeover battle, but then told Riversdale it was not in a position to make a bid.
“Bidding for Riversdale is beyond our personal capacity and authorised limits,” the Business Standard quoted NMDC chairman Rana Som as saying.
“Hence, we have referred the proposition to ICVL,” he said, referring to International Coal Ventures. “It is a good project with sizeable reserves, but has a few negatives like logistics costs too.”
Steel Authority chairman C.S. Verma confirmed to the newspaper that a proposal had been placed with International Coal Ventures.
Officials at the state-run companies could not immediately be reached by Reuters for comment.
Steelmaker ArcelorMittal, Xstrata plc , Arcelor and Anglo American are also expected to take a look at Riversdale, according to sources familiar with the company, although no formal bids or approaches have been received so far.