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Weekly coal news highlights: 1 – 5 February 2016

Published by , Editor
World Coal,

The UK's Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired plant closure

  • SSE will enter into consultation with employees and stakeholders at Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired power plant on a proposal to end commercial operations at three of the plant’s four units.
  • The closure of the UK Fiddler’s Ferry plant is the latest example that the UK government has discarded ‘King Coal’ as part of the solution to the UK’s energy crisis, according to Unite.
  • According to GMB, the UK government should not allow Fiddler’s Ferry power plant to closure until there is new capacity to maintain electricity supply.

Coal plant developments

  • A decision will be made this quarter on whether to move ahead with construction of a binderless coal brigquetting plant at a major coal producer in South Africa.
  • BigLift Shipping’s Happy Buccaneer successfully transported and installed a 1200 t 45 m high continuous ship unloader from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to the Haranchi thermal power plant in Japan.
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd receives order for setting up a supercritical thermal power project involving one unit of the country’s highest rating 800 MW sets in Tamil Nadu, India.

Coal project developments

  • Development at Universal’s NCC coal project is awaiting on a coal supply agreement with state utility Eskom before moving the mine can move to production.
  • Atrum Coal has received encouraging yields from quality testing at its Groundhog anthracite project, in British Columbia, Canada, and expects this to positively impact new pre-feasibility study.

Mine operations sales and closures

  • TerraCom, the operators of the Baruun Noyon Uul coal mine in Mongolia, is considering opportunities to buy existing coal mines in Queensland and Indonesia.
  • Westmoreland Coal completes acquisition and financing of the San Juan mine in New Mexico.
  • Walter Energy is to sell its remaining US coal assets to Seminole Coal Resources.
  • Alpha Natural Resources is to close eight mines in Raleigh and Boone counties in West Virginia.
  • Jennmar is to buy DSI’s US mining operations, while DSI will purchase Jennmar’s European, Latin American and Australian businesses in a series of agreements.


  • Wollongong Coal has increased its resources at its Wongawilli coal mine as its prepares to restart operations in 2Q16.
  • Eskom will not renew its 40 yr contract with Exxaro Resources for supply of coal to Arnot mine. The company will approach the open market to identify cost-efficient suppliers.
  • Caterpillar’s mining business has announced a loss of US$105 million in 4Q15 on the back of a 23% fall in sales and revenues.
  • Wescoal Holdings’ Elandspruit coal mine in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, is now delivering its production target of 165 000 tpm.
  • Pit reconfiguration work at Universal Coal’s Kangala coal mine resulted in a fall in ROM coal production in 4Q15.

Not to be missed …

  • A new report from the Mining Association of Canada indicates the mining industry has made a strong economic contribution to Canada despite its downturn.
  • Overall global coal demand will increase to 2040, despite coal playing a falling role in the global energy mix.
  • A team of researchers led by the Department of Energy has discovered that rare earth elements can be removed from two US coal byproduct materials through an ion-exchange process.

Written by Harleigh Hobbs

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