Solid Energy says it's interested in buying the Pike River coal mine, which was placed into receivership after an explosion that killed 29 men on 19 November.
Receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers put Pike River on the market last month and the deadline for expressions of interests ended on Thursday.
Solid Energy is cautious about the mine's prospects after the explosion, until more is known about the quality of the coal, and the geology.
The state-owned coal miner says it would look to recover the bodies.
The Pike seam has an estimated 18 million tonnes of high-quality coking coal.