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Global coal roundup: China to crack down on unsafe coal mining practices

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Global coal roundup: China to crack down on unsafe coal mining practices

A roundup of international coal news from Feb. 12 to Feb. 19.

North America

Canada: Teck Resources Ltd. said Feb. 14 that net profit attributable to shareholders in the fourth quarter of 2017 increased to C$760 million, or C$1.30 per share, up from the year-ago profit of C$697 million, or C$1.19 per share.

Asia

Pakistan: Oracle Power Plc increased the size of the power plant at its Block VI coal project in Pakistan's Sindh province to 700 MW for the first phase from 660 MW in order to comply with new requirements in the country.

China: In a bid to ensure mine safety as part of its capacity reduction efforts, China laid out plans to carry out "special action" in 2018 to crack down on illegal coal mining, Reuters reported Feb. 12. Coal mines that commit violations such as oversized mine capacity, employing too many workers and forcing employees to work longer hours than permitted will be ordered to close and rectify violations.

Australia

The Federal Court of Australia has rejected a native title group's attempt to ban Adani Enterprises Ltd. from registering an indigenous land use agreement for its A$16.5 billion Carmichael coal development in Queensland's Galilee Basin, according to a social media post by Adani Australia.

Adani is targeting mine acquisitions outside of Australia even as it struggles to develop its Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, Reuters reported Feb. 14. "We're also keeping our eyes open for options in other areas like south African countries, countries like Russia. We are not eyeing for specific grades, we are looking for viable options," said Rajendra Singh, COO of Adani's coal trading business.

Bowen Coking Coal Ltd. agreed to buy Cape Coal Pty. Ltd.'s 100% acquisition right over the Hillalong East coking coal project owned by Rio Tinto Exploration Pty. Ltd. The deal is expected to complete before the end of April.

Whitehaven Coal Ltd. declared an unfranked interim dividend of 13 Australian cents per share for first half of its fiscal 2018 after achieving strong results on the back of higher coal prices. The company did not pay a dividend in the same period a year earlier. Net profit for the period grew 63% year over year to A$257.2 million.

The Queensland department of environment and science rejected New Hope Corp. Ltd.'s application to overturn a May 2017 court decision rejecting an environmental license for its New Acland coal mine stage-three expansion project in Australia. A judicial review of the land court decision is scheduled for a hearing in the Queensland Supreme Court in March.

Aurizon Holdings Ltd. and major coal exporters are in a standoff after a Queensland, Australia, regulator proposed a cap on the revenue the rail operator can charge over four years to June 2021, Reuters reported Feb. 12. According to the report, the Queensland Competition Authority set the limit at A$3.89 billion, about 20% or A$1 billion less than the company sought, which may cut the rail operator's annual earnings by A$100 million per year.

TerraCom Ltd. added another year to the mine life of its Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland, Australia, on the back of an increase in JORC 2012-compliant reserves to 18 million tonnes, from 15.6 million tonnes. The mine life now totals nine years, based on an approximately 2-million-tonnes-per-annum operation, according to a Feb. 13 release.

NSL Consolidated Ltd. said Feb. 12 that on Feb. 9, the Supreme Court of Western Australia found that it did not repudiate a 2011 coal acquisition agreement with Birmanie Nominees Pty Ltd. The court said that Coal Hub Pty Ltd. was only entitled to a nominal sum of A$1,000 in damages, as NSL breached an implied term by certain delays on its part, but noted that it was not a repudiatory breach, as alleged by Coal Hub.

Africa

South Africa: MC Mining Ltd. said Feb. 13 that the South African Department of Water and Sanitation granted an integrated water-use license for stream diversion and associated infrastructure work at its Vele coal operation.

Tanzania: Kibo Mining Plc signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tanzania Electric Supply Co. for a power purchase agreement for its flagship 300-MW Mbeya coal-to-power project. The project comprises the development of the Mbeya coal mine, a 1.5-million-tonnes-per-year mining operation, and the Mbeya power plant, a 300-MW mine-mouth thermal power station.

As of Feb. 16, US$1 was equivalent to C$1.25 and A$1.26.

This feature was updated as of 11:50 a.m. ET on Feb. 19. Some external links may require a subscription.