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Originally published Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 11:05 PM

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India's Lanco buys Australian thermal coal mine

An Indian infrastructure company has bought a thermal coal mine in Australia in one of India's largest-ever investments in the country.

The Associated Press

NEW DELHI —

An Indian infrastructure company has bought a thermal coal mine in Australia in one of India's largest-ever investments in the country.

The company, Lanco Infratech, said Wednesday it had reached a binding purchase agreement with the administrator of the failed Griffin Coal company that operated the mine in Western Australia state.

It didn't disclose a price. The coal will fuel power stations in fast-growing India.

The Australian newspaper without citing a source said Lanco paid up to Australian dollars 850 million ($850 million), beating out rival bidders from Japan and China.

Lanco's statement said the mine with an estimated 1.1 billion metric tons of thermal coal produces over 4 million metric tons of coal a year, which can be increased to about 15 million metric tons.

The company said the mine is near two ports and strategically located for India because it is closer than mines in the Australian east coast states of New South Wales and Queensland.

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