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Mitsui to cut thermal coal assets by a third over 3 years amid climate concerns

Japanese commodities trader will cut itsexposure to thermal coal assets by about a third over the next three years dueto growing concerns about climate change, Reuters reported May 11, citing Presidentand CEO Tatsuo Yasunaga.

The Tokyo-based commodities and financial conglomerate,which owns stakes in a number of coal mines, will reduce its share of thermalcoal production from 13.5 million tonnes at present to 9 million tonnes byMarch 2019, according to a slideshow presentation of the executive's remarks toanalysts, following the release of the company's a day earlier.

"Considering the result of the global climate summit,we basically plan to reduce thermal coal assets … We will consider reducingthermal coal output or selling stakes in thermal coal mines," Reutersquoted the executive as saying during the briefing.

The company owns minority interests in 22 different coal projectsglobally, according to data from SNL Metals & Mining, including a 14.25%stake in Vale SA'sMoatize mine inMozambique, a 20% stake in BHPBilliton Group's early-stage Wards Well project in Queensland, and a 30%share in Anglo American Plc'sCapcoal minealso in Queensland.

Under the Paris climate-change pact agreed by world leadersin December 2015, Japan must cut its own greenhouse gas emissions by 26% from2013 levels by 2030.