Anglo American is putting Australian and South African coal assets up for sales as part of a strategic realignment of its business towards its most profitable assets. Down Under, the company has added the Dawson and Foxleigh mines to the list of assets it is looking to divest, joining the Callide and Dartbrook mines, while in South Africa the company is looking to sell the Kriel, New Denmark and New Vaal mines.
On the other side of the world, leaders of the three main UK political parties have all signed a pledge to end the use of unabated coal-fired power. The pledge comes ahead of the General Election in May and states that “climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today. It is not just a threat to the environment, but also to our national and global security, to poverty eradication and economic prosperity.”
Meanwhile, in the northwest of the UK, Cluff Natural Resources announced an initial exploration target of between 384 and 640 million t of metallurgical coal on its Cumbrian exploration licences. “This significant exploration target adds an exciting new dimension to [our] portfolio of UK energy assets,” said Algy Cluff, Chairman and CEO of CLNR. “The global outlook for metallurgical and coking coal is predicted to remain steady with substantial upside potential on the back of decreasing supply and increased steel demand and the global economy continues to recover.”
And there was a timely reminder of the economic boost that coal mining brings to a local community with the news that the Rusha opencast coal mine in Scotland spends almost £4/yr million with local suppliers.
Jumping the Atlantic and lawmakers in Wyoming have proposed a bill that would enable the state to provide US$1 billion to support the development of a port on the Northwest Coast to boost exports of Powder River Basin coal to Asia. Current projects have all stalled in the face of environmental opposition. Wyoming and Montana are also appealing a decision by Origen regulators to rejectr a proposal by Amber Energy to build a coal terminal at the Port of Morrow.
Finally, two special reports provide bleak reading for the North American coal industry. Clifford Smee of Timetric finds little to be positive about in the Canadian coal sector, concluding that: “until we see a return of robust pricing for metallurgical coal, it is unlikely that Canada’s coal industry will witness any growth”. Meanwhile, according to Jeff Archibald of ICF International, US thermal coal markets will continue to face challenges due to “changing electricity generation fuel needs, as well as uncertainty from an aggressive regulatory environment and pending US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations”.
Written by Jonathan Rowland.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/20022015/a-week-in-coal-20-february-2015-coal1917/