Swiss commodities trader Glencore said it is in talks with potential partners to buy back the $2.5bn Prodeco Colombian coalmine, owned by Xstrata, it has been revealed.

The group has been holding discussions with miners and investment funds including Vale, Alpha Natural Resources, GIC and First Reserve, according to a report in Britain’s The Times newspaper.

Xstrata previously bought the coalmine from Glencore for $2bn.

Glencore, which decided to swap Prodeco, was given an offer to buy back Prodeco on 4 March 2010 for $2.25bn plus earnings, a deal likely to put the total purchase price to $2.5bn.

The sudden rise in interest in Prodeco mine, located in the Columbian highlands, is being driven by a surge in demand for coal as long-term electricity consumption increases in the rapidly growing economies of Asia.

Glencore is currently considering all options including sell back Prodeco to Xstrata, sell it on to another buyer or bring in joint venture partners to help to finance the mine’s future growth, according to The Times.

The Prodeco mine has reserves of more than 250 million tons but requires a further $1bn development to reach its optimum levels.