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Global Coal Roundup: India steps up efforts to woo global coal investors

Asia

India: As the country opens up commercial coal mining opportunities to major mining companies abroad, India's Coal Ministry is creating a supporting policy framework aimed at attracting companies ahead of forthcoming coal block auctions, reported Creamer Media's Mining Weekly. Changes include enlarging the size of the coal blocks. A new policy is expected to come out in the next two weeks to a month, according to a statement from India Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi.

China: China's National Development and Reform Commission approved two coal mine projects with a combined investment totaling about $1.32 billion in U.S. dollars. The two projects in the Shanxi Province and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region will have an annual production capacity of 5 million tonnes each, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Indonesia: Bonds sold by coal firms in Indonesia are trading at distressed levels as prices of thermal coal slumped this year. Bloomberg News reported the country's miners suffered more than its peers in Asia due to a lack of diversification or backing of the state.

South America

Chile: BHP Group signed new power supply contracts for its Spence and Escondida copper mines in Chile, which the company expects to cut energy costs by up to 20% and displace up to 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The diversified miner will make a provision of about US$780 million due to canceling existing coal contracts for the mines.

Australia

Stanmore Coal Ltd. said Oct. 17 that Winfield Group Investments Pty. Ltd. dropped its bid to acquire the company fully. Winfield is a privately owned Australian company owned by former executives of Peabody Energy Corp. that offered to take over Stanmore Coal for between A$1.50 and A$1.70 per share.

* Also in Australia, Whitehaven Coal Ltd. warned that a drought might impact future production at its flagship Maules Creek coal mine in New South Wales. Drought-related disruption is not expected before mid-2020, but a Whitehaven official said the company is monitoring the situation.

Africa

South Africa's plans to increase its electricity generation will include both coal and renewable power, according to Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. South Africa's energy mix is currently dominated by coal, but Reuters reported that the country's new energy plan has a provision for 1,500 MW of new coal power, 2,500 MW of hydropower, 6,000 MW from solar photovoltaic, 14,400 MW from wind and 3,000 MW from natural gas.