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A week in coal: 18 – 22 January 2016

Published by
World Coal,

Reactions to US governments’ plan to stop new coal leases

  • The US government halting new coal leases on federal land while it undertakes a comprehensive review of the federal coal programme has been met with discontent.
  • Institute of Energy Research President, Thomas Pyle, has released a scathing attack on the Obama administration’s decision to halt the grating of new coal leases on federal land.
  • US Rep. Ed Whitfield, Chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee, criticises the US Department of Interior’s regulation on federal coal leasing and management.
  • The American Coal Council has attacked the federal coal lease moratorium as another slice in the Obama administrations “death-by-a-thousand-cuts’ policy towards coal.

Coal mine updates

  • Peabody's North Antelope Rochelle mine reaches a major production milestone by shipping its 2 billionth short ton of coal.
  • Kibo Mining has received results from Geotechnical Drill Programme for the Mbeya Definitive Mining Feasibility Study.
  • A mine wall collapse at Warkworth and a dam overflow at Bengalla makes it three spills in a month from Hunter Valley coal mines.
  • Peabody’s Wambo coal mine in New South Wales has reported a dam breach resulting in a discharge of sediment-laden water into the environment.
  • CoAL awards Optimisation Study and Front End Engineering and Design package to DRA Global’s South African company DRA Projects SA.

Project sales

  • Peabody Energy enters definitive agreement to sell it interest in Prairie State Energy Campus: a 1600 MW coal-fired plant and adjacent coal mine in Illinois, USA.
  • Anglo American enters into a Share Sale Agreement with Batchfire Resources Pty to sell its 100% interest in the Callide thermal coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

Latest shipping and ports news

  • A fall in coal throughput at Port of Amsterdam helped to drag total transshipment down at the four North Seam Canal Area ports.
  • The Indian Ministry of Shipping has launched a campaign to clean and green India’s thirteen major ports.
  • The major Indian ports recorded an 11.75% increase in thermal coal imports and 2.5% increase in metallurgical coal imports between April and November 2015.
  • US LNG exports have been vaunted by the US coal industry as cause for rising US gas prices and therefore rising US coal demand. But this hope may be misplaced.
  • Port of Rotterdam saw coal throughput rise 1% in 2015 despite a fall in German thermal coal demand.

Recently released 2015 results

  • BHP Billiton has reported 3% falls in its metallurgical and thermal coal production as operations were hit by geological difficulties and heavy rain in Australia, while draught hit the company in Colombia.
  • Rio Tinto announces 4Q15 results: hard coking and thermal coal production was in line with 2015 guidance, while semi-soft coking coal production was above the top end of the guidance range.
  • South32’s coal production fell in the six months to December 2015 on the back of challenging geology at two of its Australian mines.
  • Australian rail freight operator, Aurizon, reported a fall in coal volumes in 4Q15 on the back of increased competition and falling production volumes.

Not to be missed …

  • A report, Scottish CO2 Hub – A unique opportunity for the UK, published by Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage has detailed a concept that could lead the way for deployment of CCS in the UK and Europe.
  • Miners and mining equipment suppliers have made RobecoSAM’s “The Sustainability Yearbook” – although on one in the Coal & Consumable Fuels category.

Written by Harleigh Hobbs

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