India’s National Mineral Development Corp. (NMDC) and Coal India Ltd (CIL) are forming a joint venture with West Bengal Mineral Development and Trading Co. to acquire one of the largest coal blocks in the country having reserves of around 19 billion metric tons (mt). According to Economic Times, under the proposed structure, NMDC and CIL will have 40% stake each in the joint venture while the West Bengal state mining firm will own the balance 20% equity. One of the key reasons for the forming the joint venture with NMDC is its expertise in mining of hard rock. The coal block in West Bengal has top layer of hard basalt rock with a thickness of 100 to 300 m. The hard basalt rock is used as a material for road construction. Under the proposed plan, the mining joint venture will have a capacity of 100 million mtpy. Once the coal mining starts, depending upon the prevailing demand, the joint venture may ramp up the capacity in future.