Tata Steel comes shopping for coal security – by Matthew Stevens (Australian Financial Review – November 6, 2018)


Having failed very recently to acquire the security blanket of Australian metallurgical coal mines, global steel giant Tata Steel is promoting the need for a forum with Australian governments and miners to more productively align the central Queensland coal system with India’s surging raw materials needs.

An executive delegation from Tata, led by relatively new chief executive TV Narendran, landed in Brisbane on Monday with proposals that aim to take its relationship with Australian suppliers to a new level, moving it from its currently transactional standing to something more symbiotic.

It is understood that Tata management continues to investigate its ownership options in Australian coal after recent efforts to acquire projects or buy into joint ventures have come to nought. As one source told The Australian Financial Review, Tata has either been “outbid or beaten to the punch” in a number of recent sale processes.

It would seem a fair bet that those processes included Rio Tinto’s sale of its Hail Creek mine, which was bought earlier this year for $US1.7 billion ($2.4 billion) by Glencore.

To digress momentarily, it has subsequently become clear that Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg was reluctantly dragged to that deal by his local coal management. Glasenberg is not a fan of the coking coal business because the sector’s biggest player is BHP. The Glencore view is that this means BHP gets to set the price.

For the rest of this article: https://www.afr.com/business/mining/tata-steel-comes-shopping-for-coal-security-20181105-h17j12

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