Coal India, China’s state-owned Shenhua Group and Aditya Birla Group are among the companies that are planning to bid for Rio Tinto’s coal assets in Australia that are estimated to be valued at $3.2bn.

Rio Tinto is offloading a 29% interest in its Coal & Allied business as well as its majority stake in the Clermont mine in the state of Queensland, with preliminary bids scheduled for this week, Reuters reported citing an undisclosed source.

The Anglo-Australian mining giant’s chief executive Sam Walsh had earlier announced his plan to divest various non-core assets to help reduce the company’s $26bn in debt.

The company is also looking to reduce its exposure to the overall coal industry that has been affected by rising costs and declining prices since early 2012.