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SAIL-led Group Hopes To Buy Coal Assets In Poland

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A consortium led by Steel Authority of India Ltd, the country's second-biggest steelmaker, hopes to buy coal assets in Poland in the next few months, Chairman C.S. Verma said on Thursday.

Most steel producers in India, the world's third-largest coal importer, depend on overseas coal shipments and are trying to buy mines in Africa and Europe.

SAIL-led International Coal Ventures Private Ltd (ICVL), whose five participating firms are all state-owned or state-controlled, has been scouting for mines since 2009.

Verma said they had already invested in due diligence for the Polish assets.

JSW Steel Ltd, India's third-largest steel maker, has already bought US mines that produce the coal used in steel making.

India's coal imports rose 21 percent to 152 million tonnes last year, with most of that being thermal coal used to generate power, according to Delhi-based research firm OreTeam.

(Reuters)