India will form a joint working group with Indonesia to explore opportunities for acquiring coal properties abroad.

“We are in talks with the Indonesian government to form a joint working group for cooperation in the coal sector. This will give a platform to the industry of both the countries to interact and look at acquiring coal properties,” Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters here on Monday.

Coal India Director Technical N C Jha said as many as 45 global mining companies have evinced interest in partnering with Coal India for acquiring and mining coal assets abroad.

He said Coal India is exploring possibilities for acquiring equity stake in the Indonesian firm, Bukit Asam.

Mr. Jha added that an Indonesian delegation led by the country’s energy and mineral resources minister, Purnomo Yus Giantoro, called on the coal minister and appraised him that Jakarta looked at exporting about 150 million tonnes of coal by 2015-16, majority of which will be to India.

The visiting minister said Indonesia aimed at producing 230-250 million tonnes of coal in the current fiscal of which about 60 per cent could be exported.