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Global Coal Roundup: India seeks to end coal mining monopoly, increase prices


India: The Indian government is seeking to end Coal India Ltd.'s monopoly over coal prices in the nation and suggested two pricing formulas that would both set a benchmark based on international prices, Reuters reported, citing government documents. Indian miners are fighting the plan, given that the proposal would likely increase domestic coal prices and hurt the competitiveness of lower-quality Indian coal.

* India also intends to draft a policy within the next few weeks to attract foreign investment into its coal mining sector, Reuters reported. The country expects to invite bids for coal mining blocks by the end of the year, according to the report, which cited comments from India's Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi.

China: China's September coal imports were down 8.1% from August, totaling about 30.3 million tonnes, given increasing domestic supply and decreasing utility demand, according to Reuters, which cited customs data. However, coal imports increased 20.5% year over year from about 25.1 million tonnes in September 2018.

Mongolia: Aspire Mining Ltd. does not expect to wrap up its definitive feasibility study for the Ovoot coking coal project in Mongolia until May 2020 due to delays in attaining permits. The permits are needed to complete hydrological and geotechnical drilling, and some of the work needed for the study cannot conclude before winter sets in, delaying it until March or April 2020 when conditions improve.

South America

Chile: Indonesia and Chile have signed a new trade deal that may allow the latter to start importing Indonesian subbituminous coal once more, S&P Global Platts reported. Though Chile's government has committed to moving away from coal generation over the next couple of decades, the two countries' agreement reduces tariffs on thousands of exports from both nations, according to the report.


Out of concern for water resources linked to Sydney, the water authority in New South Wales, Australia, objected to South32 Ltd.'s planned expansion for the Dendrobium coking coal mine, Reuters reported. WaterNSW stated that South32 did not provide enough information on alternative mine designs that may reduce the environmental impact of the project, which serves to extend the mine's life to 2048.

North America

Canada: As of Oct. 10, Teck Resources Ltd. had not determined a plan to control costs amid tough conditions, a company spokesperson said. CBC News reported Oct. 8 that the senior vice president of coal at Teck had outlined a plan to freeze hiring and salaries as well as cut jobs in a letter to employees at some operations in British Columbia.

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