The Indian consortium of mining and metal companies International Coal Ventures (ICVL) will be restructured in an effort to align its objectives with its promoters and allow for quicker decision-making.
ICVL is an initiative of the Indian Government's Ministry of Steel, established for the purpose of overseas mineral asset acquisitions.
The joint partners of the consortium include the Steel Authority of India (SAIL), Coal India Limited (CIL), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
According to an official in the mining ministry as reported by mining weely.com, NTPC had already taken a decision to exit ICVL since its objective of acquiring coking coal was not in line with the priority of a power producer seeking thermal coal assets.
The Indian Government has sought to redefine the consortium's principle objectives and had considered a number of options including enabling ICVL to become a standalone mining company, undertaking thermal coal and other mineral acquisitions and striking up a partnership with a foreign company with expertise in global mineral assets.
India's coal mining sector has witnessed a number of setbacks in recent months. On September 2, authorities in the East Indian state of Odisha halted production at six of Coal India's mines following the expiry of the requisite environmental clearances.
In August, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his government were accused of conning private companies out of billions of dollars through the improper sale of coalfields.
The comptroller and auditor general (CAG) reported that the sale of coalfields without open bidding between 2004 and 2009 cost India $33bn.