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Global coal roundup: A weekly review of top international stories

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Global coal roundup: A weekly review of top international stories

A roundup of internationalcoal news from April 22 to April 29.

Europe

Poland: The government of Poland hasreached a restructuring dealthat will see state-owned power and gas utilities PGE SA, Energa SA and PGNiGSA injecting 1.5 billion Polishzlotys, equivalent to about US$388 million into loss-making coalminer Kompania Weglowa SA,Bloomberg News reported April 26, citing a joint statement from the companies.

Czech Republic: Certain members of are nowin default underfinancial obligations guaranteed by OKDa.s., after the ad-hoc group of senior creditors and shareholdersdenied extending the super senior credit facility standstill and waiveragreement. The company said April 25 that although discussions are continuing,it is unclear if a restructuring plan can be agreed upon before OKD exhaustsall available sources of financing, prompting it to start insolvencyproceedings.

Asia

China: said April28 that it swung tonet profit attributable to shareholders of 438.5 million Chinese yuan, or 26fen per share, in the first quarter, from a net loss of 298.2 million yuan, or18 fen per share, posted a year ago. For the first quarter, operating incomedropped 28.06% year over year to 1.41 billion yuan, while operating cost wascut by 23.3% to 1.65 billion yuan from 2.15 billion yuan.

improved its netprofit attributable to shareholders by 69.7 million Chinese yuan, or 39.2%, to247.5 million yuan in the first three months of the year compared to the sameperiod of 2015. EPS was 5.03 fen, up from an adjusted 3.62 fen per share in theyear ago period.

onApril 27 posted a netloss of 223.1 million Chinese yuan, or 1.7 fen per share, for the firstquarter, which compares to a net profit of 15.1 million yuan, or 0.1 fen pershare, recorded in the same period of 2015. Operating income for the quarterdropped 4.3% year over year to 12.51 billion yuan as prices of coal products "significantlydropped," the company said.

increased its coal salesin the March quarter by 27.1% to 92.5 million tonnes largely due to a reboundin coal demand in major downstream industries. The Chinese coal miningheavyweight said April 25 that its sales volumes were also up year over year asa result of an increase in coal purchased from third parties and lower sales inthe same quarter of 2015.

Elevenminers are missing as a coal mine floodedin the Shaanxi province of northern China, the Associated Press reported,citing Chinese state media. There were 67 miners inside the shaft when theflooding occurred, but most were able to escape, the report said.

TheChinese government on April 25 announced that it is haltingplans for about 200 new coal-fired power stations and postponing theconstruction of certain approved plants until at least 2018, The New York Times reported. In total,the plants would have produced 105 GW of power. The announcement was made byChina's National Development and Reform Commission and the National EnergyAdministration.

Mongolia: Receivers have been appointedto Mongolian Mining Corp.subsidiary Mongolian Coal Corp.Ltd. after the coking coal producer defaulted on a US$600 millionloan. The company said April 27 that it has received a demand from lenders BNP Paribas Singapore andIndustrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. that it immediately repay US$95.4million worth of 8.875% senior notes due 2017 still outstanding.

India: India is set to power generationfourfold by 2030 and is increasingits coal output in order to cut dependence on foreign coal, Bloomberg Newsreported April 25. Piyush Goyal, India's coal and power minister, has expressedhis desire to cut his dependence on non-domestic coal in an April 22 interviewat Bloomberg's headquarters in New York, Bloomberg News reported. "At theend of the day, I may only be left with imports to the extent where certainplants are designed for imported coal," Goyal said. "Until the time Ican either retrofit or replace those plants."

Australia

Australianthermal coal prices for delivery in June plunged to $46.60 per tonne, the lowest since 2006, asColombian miners start targeting Asia amid a dwindling demand in Europe and NorthAmerica, Reuters reported April 29. "Currently Colombian coal is about$7-8 (per tonne) cheaper than the Australian coal and if this price trendcontinues, we are definitely willing to import more from Colombia,"Reuters quoted a utility source working for South Korea's East-West Powerutility as saying.

saidApril 28 that it has raisedA$10.8 million before costs via a private placement of 35,894,999 new fullypaid ordinary shares to sophisticated, professional and other investors at 30Australian cents each. The funds will be used to invest in the Leigh Creekthermal coal project in South Australia, with funds directed toward initial gasflaring development activities.

said April27 that JOGMEC haswithdrawn from theKilmain coaljoint venture in Queensland, Australia, after spending over A$2 million on thecoal project by the end of the quarter. Under a July 2014 , JOGMEC agreed to provide a A$3million cash injection to earn up a 40% stake in Kilmain by transferring thefunds over a three-year period.

said April 27that Executive Chairman Qinfu Zhang was appointed chairman of its Arckaringa coal joint venture company,Arckaringa Coal Chemical JointVenture Co. Pty. Ltd., in the joint venture's first shareholder andboard meeting. Yueqin Yin, chairman of joint venture partner Sino-Aus EnergyGroup (Hong Kong), will be CEO.

isvying to acquireAnglo American Plc'sA$1 billion Moranbahcoal mine in Queensland, Australia, competing with and for the asset, The Australian reported April 25, citingsources. The sales process,which includes Moranbah and Grosvenorand could value the mines at US$1.5 billion, was run by Bank of America MerrillLynch. It has moved to the second round and the interested parties have signednondisclosure agreements.

Africa

South Africa: Uncertainty surroundingoff-take agreements between the potential new owners of Anglo American Plc'sSouth African coal mines and local power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. couldsee the sale process pushed outinto 2017. Bloomberg News quoted "two people with knowledge of the matter"in an April 26 report as saying that the suggestion by a senior Eskom executivelast week that Anglo should cede its mining rights to the state and uncertaintyover what sort of new off-take agreements the utility would give the new ownerswill draw out the sale process.

This feature was updated asof 1:43 p.m. ET on April 29. Some external links may require a subscription.