Coal India in talks with Peabody, Massey for coal mines

The world's largest coal producer, Coal India Ltd (CIL), is in talks to buy mines from two US-based coal miners Peabody Energy and Massey Energy to bridge the growing coal shortage in the country and rising imports that are estimated to reach over 100 million tonnes by 2012.

Without revealing the deal value or the location of the mines, The Economic Times today quoted CIL chairman Partha Bhattacharyya, ''They expressed interest in offering certain mines to us and we are looking at that.''

CIL, which mines nearly 80 per cent of India's total coal production, has been in talks with both the US coal miners as well as with Sinar Mas of Indonesia since April 2010 to acquire coal mines or form joint ventures.

CIL is seeking mines that produce both thermal coal and metallurgical coal of Peabody in the US or Australia in a deal worth over $1 billion, while it is looking for either buying coal mines or forming a joint venture with Massey.

St Louis, Missouri-based Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal company has 9 billion tons of coal reserves, manages or owns interests in 28 mining operations in the US and Australia and has a minority stake in Venezuela's largest coal mine.

Peabody Pacific, the Australian subsidiary of Peabody Energy is one of Australia's largest mining companies having 10 mines in Queensland and New South Wales. It operates the Burton, North Goonyella, Eaglefield, Millennium and the Wilkie Creek mines in Queensland and four mine sites in New South Wales extending from the Hunter Valley coalfields west of Newcastle to the Southern coalfields just below Sydney.