China Investment Corp is likely to make a joint offer with Australian private equity firm EMR Capital Advisors, which was among shortlisted bidders for the last remaining Rio Tinto coal mines, sources told Bloomberg.
Other shortlisted companies are believed to be Whitehaven, Apollo, and Yancoal Australia, which is majority-owned by Chinese coal giant Yanzhou.
The assets, which are expected to fetch US$2 billion for Rio Tinto, will be visited by the prospective buyers this month ahead of a final bid deadline of March.
CIC, which managed about $814 billion at the end of 2016, has been boosting its holdings in alternative assets to diversify away from listed companies and increase returns, according to Bloomberg.
Xcoal Energy & Resources LLC and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board are part of the Apollo-led consortium, according to Bloomberg. Glencore Plc was reportedly also among suitors set to proceed to the second round of bidding.