Several mining companies including the likes of Rio Tinto and Essel are keen to explore collaboration with Coal India under the new public-private partnership (PPP) policy.

Commenting on the policy Rio Tinto India managing director Nik Senapati told Live Mint that the company would leverage any prospective business interest clause if included in the policy.

"Rio Tinto would see if there is a business case for them. If it is just contract mining, we won’t be interested," stated Senapati.

Miners, who are currently working as contractors with the company are seeking part ownership of the mined coal, or of the lease, or at least a preferential linkage for coal supply.

Coal India, however, has thus far offered the mine developer-cum-operator (MDO) model that goes against any partnership aspirations..

The Indian coal ministry had announced that the PPP policy for collaborative exploration, mining with Coal India is expected to be be unveiled in two-three months.