The Indian Steel Ministry has advised International Coal Ventures (ICVL) to bid for Australian mining firm Riversdale.
ICVL will be competing with Rio Tinto to secure Riversdale's coal assets in Mozambique, according to Bloomberg.
Riversdale's coal resources in the African country total 13 billion metric tons, split between the $2bn Zambeze project and the Benga licence.
The mining company recently announced that the firm is in discussions with Rio Tinto of a potential A$3.5bn (US$3.5bn) takeover bid.
ICVL is a special purpose vehicle jointly promoted by SAIL, NMDC, NTPC, RINL and Coal India.