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Mitsubishi could sell stakes in Australian thermal coal mines

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World Coal,

According to Reuters, Japanese trading company Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) has hinted that it may sell stakes in Australian thermal coal mines as it continues with a switch to core assets such as metallurgical coal after slumping to its first-ever annual loss last year, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The Nikkei business reported earlier on Wednesday that Mitsubishi is looking to sell the 31.4% stake it holds in the Clermont mine, and also intends sell stake in the Hunter Valley operation. As a consequence, the firm plans to raise its stake in Canada's Montney shale gas field, the paper reported, buying more shares from partner Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.

"We are considering all options, including selling a stake in the Clermont coal mine and we have hired Rothschild as financial advisor for the deal," a spokesman said. The spokesman didn't say how much of the mine it might sell, nor how much it might seek for it.

Mitsubishi is also considering whether or not to sell its 32.4% stake in Hunter Valley thermal coal mine in Australia after its partner Rio Tinto (RIO.L) (RIO.AX) decided to sell its Australian coal assets to China's Yancoal, the spokesman said.

Sources: Reuters 

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