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    Dec 2009


    Default Six Indian companies including SAIL, Nalco, JSP in race for Afghan mines

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    A consortium of four state-owned Indian companies - SAIL, Nalco, Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration Corp - has been shortlisted to invest in new gold and copper deposits in Afghanistan.

    Two private players - Monnet Ispat & Energy and Jindal Steel & Power - have also made the cut, opening up the possibility of a public-private partnership for a strategic bid by the Indian metals majors.

    The Indian companies are among the 25 chosen from 41 firms from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, UAE, Turkey and Afghanistan.

    If a public-private partnership fructifies between Indian companies, it would be on the lines of AFISCO, the consortium of PSUs and private players which bagged the rights to explore nearly a billion tonnes of iron ore reserves in Afghanistan's Hajigak region.

    Jindal Steel and Monnet Ispat, which were part of AFISCO, confirmed their selection on an individual basis for developing copper and gold deposits.

    Hindustan Copper CMD Shakeel Ahmed said, "We, along with SAIL, Nalco and MECL, will bid together. The onus is on the private companies to join us if they want to." A SAIL official confirmed the news, but said he didn't wish to comment "at this stage".
    ...being a human...



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