Japan, S Korea, Russia eye Mongolia coal mine - Nikkei

Dec 25 (Reuters) - Itochu Corp (8001.T), Sumitomo Corp (8053.T) and two Japanese trading firms will jointly bid for rights to a large Mongolian coal mine, along with a South Korean consortium and a state-owned Russian company, the Nikkei business daily said.

The Tavan Tolgoi mine in southeast Mongolia is said to host untapped deposits of more than 6 billion tons -- over 30 times Japan's annual coal imports -- the paper said.

Trading houses Marubeni Corp (8002.T) and Sojitz Corp (2768.T), together with Russia's state-owned railway company and a South Korean consortium led by Korea Resources Corp, have agreed to jointly bid in an auction to be held by the Mongolian government in mid-January, the daily said.

The partners plan to transport the mined coal by rail to the east Russian coast, the newspaper added.

Meanwhile, Mitsui & Co (8031.T) and Chinese partner Shenhua Group Corp (601088.SS) (1088.HK) are also discussing a joint bid with U.S. coal giant Peabody Energy (BTU.N), making it the second and only other group, to participate in the bidding, down from the initial five, the Nikkei said. (Reporting by Gowri Jayakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)

Source:Reuters News Agency
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