May 23, 2013, 10.54 PM | Source: PTI
JSW Steel Ltd is looking to acquire coal mines in Africa, US and Canada, a senior company official said today.
"We have a strong balance sheet and we are looking for acquisition of coking coal mines in Africa, US and Canada," JSW Steel joint managing director Seshagiri Rao said .
The company is looking at acquiring iron ore and coal mines in both India and abroad as it looks to increase self-sufficiency in feeding its steel plants. "As we expand aggressively, we need to own mines to bring down costs," Rao said.
"We are open to acquiring mines in overseas. There are huge opportunities as commodity cycle is on reverse curve. We are keeping our eyes and ears open," JSW Chairman and Managing Director Sajjan Jindal said.
However, the company is cautious on acquisitions abroad as its past experience was not positive, Jindal said.
During FY13, the company operation in Chile iron ore mine continued to be profitable, while the production in coal mines in the US remained subdued due to delay in obtaining permits. In the domestic market, the company plans to bid for iron ore mines in Karnataka after Supreme Court lifted the ban.
"Our strategy is very clear - of having our own raw material and we must have our own captive mines. JSW is doing its homework and aggressively bid for 18 mines in C category in Karnataka," Jindal said.
"Out of 6 MT captive mines auctioned, we are aiming for a lion's share," he said.
The company made a huge investment in Karnataka due to iron ore mines, but the state government failed in its obligation of allotting the mines to the company, Jindal said and called for a transparent policy.