ICVL, China's Henan Coal among bidders for Australia's Aquila's coal mine

A group of Indian state-owned companies underr  the umbrella of International Coal Ventures Ltd (ICVL) and Chinese state-owned enterprise, Henan Coal Chemical Industry Group are among the bidders for Australia's Aquila Resources coal mine Washpool coking coal project, which is valued as much as A$400 million, according to a Bloomberg report.

Bids are due by the end of next month and Aquila expects to close the sale by November.

Incorporated in 2009, ICVL is a joint venture between Steel Authority of India Ltd, NTPC Ltd, NMDC Ltd, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd and Coal India Ltd for acquiring overseas assets.

Perth-based Aquila, which holds stakes in coal, iron ore and manganese projects in Australia, South Africa and Botswana has put its 100-per cent-owned Washpool Project and its entire 74-per cent stake in Avontuur manganese project in South Africa up for sale in order to raise around A$1 billion to fund its flagship $6 billion, 30 million tonne a year West Pilbara iron ore development.

The Washpool Project involves the development of a greenfield open cut coal mine producing up to 2.6 million tonnes per annum of hard coking coal used in steel making.

Washpool Project consists of the development of a greenfield open cut coal mine, where construction is expected to start in 2012 with first coal being produced in 2013.