World News - March 2018

Glencore to Acquire Hail Creek Coal Mine in Australia

Glencore has reached an agreement to acquire Rio Tinto’s 82% interest in the Hail Creek coal mine and adjacent coal resources, as well as its 71.2% interest in the Valeria coal resource in central Queensland, for $1.7 billion. The remaining 18% of Hail Creek is currently owned by Nippon Steel Australia Pty Ltd. (8%), Marubeni Coal Pty Ltd. (6.67%) and Sumisho Coal Development Pty Ltd. (3.33%). Each joint venture partner has the right to sell its share to Glencore through a “tag-along” right with respect to this transaction, which could result in additional consideration of up to $340 million.
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Czech Tycoon to Buy Europe’s Aging Coal-fired Power Plants

Czech energy magnate Pavel Tykac is ready to spend 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) of his own cash on aging coal and gas-fired power plants across Europe, according to Bloomberg. He’s betting they will be needed for decades to supplement the green power that’s taking a bigger role at utilities from Germany to Britain.
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 Conuma Coal Reopening Willow Creek in British Columbia

Conuma Coal Resources, a subsidiary of West Virginia-based ERP Compliant Fuels, announced it will reopen the Willow Creek mine near Chetwynd, British Columbia, Canada. The mine last operated between 2010 and 2013 when it was owned by Western Coal. Walter Energy purchased the mine and two others (Brule and Wolverine) and then idled them in 2014. Conuma Coal purchased the mines in 2016 and reopened the Wolverine and Brule mines last year.
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 Indonesian President Caps Domestic Coal Prices

Reuters reported that Indonesian President Joko Widodo has signed a government regulation authorizing the energy and mineral resources minister to set the price of coal for the domestic market. Coal and Minerals Director-General Bambang Gatot told parliament, “Further details on the pricing plan will be outlined in a ministerial decree expected to be announced soon.”
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 Hwange to Revive Coke Oven Battery in Zimbabwe

Hwange Colliery Co. Ltd. (HCCL) has invited bids from companies interested in rebuilding a coke oven battery that was decommissioned four years ago, according to Nehanda Radio. The company is looking for bids to either rebuild or build completely new construction of a recovery-type coke oven battery, byproducts plant and gas plant, which includes a coke oven gas supply line to power station and the financing of the project. All bidders are required to demonstrate their capability to provide the required services and expertise and include their track record in the funding/construction of a recovery-type coke oven battery or similar plant. Maintenance of the coke oven battery for a period of 12 months can be offered as an option.
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 Universal Acquires North Block Complex

Universal Coal’s subsidiary North Block Complex Proprietary Ltd. (NBC) has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga Proprietary Ltd. and Exxaro Coal Proprietary Ltd. for the assets that comprise the North Block Complex.
NBC is owned 51% by Ndalamo Resource Proprietary Ltd. (Ndalamo) and 49% by Universal Coal and Energy Holdings South Africa Proprietary Ltd. (UCEHSA). UCEHSA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Universal.
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 China Caps Thermal Coal Prices

China’s Qinhuangdao port started to cap thermal coal prices for FOB 5,500 kcal/kg coal at RMB750 per metric ton (mt) ($118.28/mt), following a request from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Colder-than-normal weather in January resulted in strong thermal coal demand and a subsequent increase in prices. Spot thermal coal prices for FOB Qinhuangdao 5,500 kcal/kg reportedly reached RMB780/mt ($123/mt) recently.
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 India Plans Further Coal Sector Reforms

Bringing the curtains down on the nationalized coal industry since 1973, the Indian government is working to further deepen reforms of the sector, thereby blurring the lines between commercial and captive mining.
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India Eases Up on Commercial Coal Mining Auction Rules

Aiming to push ahead and open commercial coal mining in India to private miners, the country’s Ministry of Coal has eased rules for auction of coal blocks and woo domestic and foreign investors into the sector.
The Coal Ministry was trying to complete the ground rules for the auction of at least 10 coal blocks by the end of the current fiscal year on March 31, which would open up coal mining to private miners with full production, pricing and merchant sale freedom, for the first time since the coal industry was nationalized in 1973.
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Yancoal to Produce 70 Mt of Raw Coal in 2018

China’s Yancoal Australia Ltd (Yancoal), the largest pure-coal producer in Australia, is expected to produce at least 70 million metric tons (mt) of raw coal in 2018, according to Xinhua. The annual raw coal production of Yancoal, which is a subsidiary corporation of Yankuang Group Co. Ltd, one of China’s largest energy enterprises, has seen great increase after the acquisition of Coal & Allied in September.
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Chinese Power Producers Want More Coal

China’s four major power generation groups have asked the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic regulator, to increase coal supplies and regulate and reduce coal prices after snowstorms sweeping across central and southern provinces led to major losses for the thermal power sector, China Daily reported.
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Canadian Coal Terminal Project Gets the Greenlight

A $15 million thermal coal terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks that was approved by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in 2014 has been given the greenlight by the Federal Court of Canada, according to BIV. The court dismissed an appeal by two community groups backed by Ecojustice of the project’s approval. The project has been controversial because it would move thermal coal mostly from American coal mines, which have no port access on the Pacific West Coast to ship coal to Asia.
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