Vedanta looking to acquire coal assets in India and overseas

February 26th, 2012 - 1:09 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Feb 25 (IANS) Vedanta Resources, which announced a major restructuring of its businesses Saturday, said it is looking to acquire coal assets in India and abroad, especially in Latin America.

Coal is the only natural resource missing in the London-listed Vedanta’s portfolio which holds iron ore, zinc, aluminium, copper, oil and gas. The company needs coal for use by subsidiaries that deal in aluminium, zinc smelting and power production.

“We want coal in our portfolio. We are waiting for the government’s plans. Like we have done before by acquiring companies like Balco and Hindustan Zinc, we will participate in these auctions as well,” said Chairman Anil Agarwal.

The Indian government this month issued a notification that said captive coal blocks would be allocated through competitive bidding by fixing a minimum floor price to increase production.

“We have with us in Balco a coal block which we are developing. It will start production this year it has good quality coal as well as size,” Agarwal added.

Agarwal also said the company was scouting coal assets overseas, especially in Latin America.

“We are looking for coal assets in Latin America and if we find that we will take it.”

Agarwal was talking to the media after the board of Vedanta decided to consolidate all its businesses in India and abroad, minus the Zambian Konkola copper mines, into a single entity, Sesa Sterlite, that would create one of the world’s top natural resources companies.

Agarwal said the vision behind merging the assets was to create an Indian giant like BHP Billition of Australia and Rio Tinto in Brazil.

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