Archive | Coal

The Navajo Wanted To Go Green, Then This Surprise Deal Made Them America’s 3rd Largest Coal Miner – by Christopher Helman (Forbes Magazine – June 10, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

Itʼs a hardscrabble existence for many of the 175,000 Navajo who live on the 27,000 square miles of tribal lands that stretch across the borders of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. The median household income hovers around $30,000 a year, and more than a quarter of homes have no electricity.

In early May, the coronavirus was spreading so fast that New Mexico blockaded roads in and out of Gallup, the picturesque town on the edge of the Navajo nation known as the “heart of Indian country.”

The pandemic followed a particularly tough winter for some families. In November, the Kayenta strip mine and the Navajo Generating Station it supplied, both on tribal lands, finished shutting down, eliminating 800 relatively high-paying jobs and a free source of coal used by many Navajo to heat their homes. Continue Reading →

South Sask. governments eye tenuous coal-free economic future – by Evan Radford (Regina Leader-Post – June 9, 2020)

https://leaderpost.com/

CORONACH — As several local governments in south Saskatchewan eye an economic future without coal, a veteran of the industry is looking back on its history, uncertain what type of future development in the area is sustainable.

“I have no problem with wind- and sun-power. But if the wind don’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, I don’t know what you’re going to do — put a crank on it?” scoffs 93-year-old Harold Siggelkow.

The longtime Coronach resident owned the local mine on the southeast side of town for two years, 1946 and 1947. He kept working in the industry several years thereafter, in Crowsnest Pass, Alta. and at the Coronach-area’s Poplar River power plant, which uses coal from nearby surface strip-mining, in the 1970s. Continue Reading →

Poland halts work at 12 coal mines to curb COVID-19, angering union – by Agnieszka Barteczko (Reuters U.S. – June 8, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland will close 12 coal mines from Tuesday for three weeks to curb the spread of the coronavirus among miners, Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin said on Monday.

Miners account for almost 20% of coronavirus cases reported in Poland. But the Solidarity trade union denounced the move, saying it would lead to permanent closures as the nationalist government was already planning to restructure the industry.

Two mines operated by state-run JSW and 10 mines owned by PGG group will close for three weeks, Sasin said. All are in Silesia, a mining region which accounted for over half of the new 599 coronavirus cases reported in Poland on Monday. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-The spike before the slump? Australian coal exports to China soar in May – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – May 28, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, May 28 (Reuters) – Australia’s coal exporters are bracing for a slump in shipments to China, making it somewhat ironic that May is likely to be the strongest month in nearly two years for Chinese imports from Down Under.

Traders are expecting that China’s coal imports may fall in coming months amid moves by Beijing to restrict cargoes to protect the domestic mining industry and prices.

While the port restrictions are expected to apply to all coal exporters, including China’s major suppliers of Indonesia, Australia and Russia, it’s also possible that Australian cargoes may suffer more given the ongoing political tensions between Beijing and Canberra. Continue Reading →

Anglo American explores sale of South Africa’s coal alongside spin-off -sources – by Clara Denina and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.S. – May 22, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Anglo American is still exploring a sale of its thermal coal assets in South Africa as an alternative to spinning off and listing the business, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Mining companies are under pressure to stop mining coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, from investors and governments keen to switch to cleaner fuels.

London-listed Anglo said earlier this month that it would spin off its last remaining coal assets in South Africa and list them in Johannesburg. Sources say an outright sale of Anglo American’s coal mines was still on the cards. Continue Reading →

Steve Earle’s new album considers coal miners’ perspective – by Steven Wine (WJLA.com/Associated Press – May 20, 2020)

https://wjla.com/

Contemplating the treacherous political landscape of West Virginia, Steve Earle decided to build a bridge.

The singer-songwriter known for his liberal views undertook a project that would speak for the other side on the issue of coal mining. Earle’s empathetic attempt to address the divide has resulted in one of his best albums: “Ghosts of West Virginia.”

The set draws material from the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion that killed 29 men. Earle wrote folk songs for a play about the disaster, and has used them as the foundation of a concept album that considers coal’s role in the life of West Virginians from their perspective. Continue Reading →

‘A complete disaster’: Investors take aim at Teck CEO Don Lindsay after commodity cycle misses – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – May 20, 2020)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Days after Teck Resources Ltd. publicly pulled the plug in February on Frontier, a proposed $20.5-billion mine in the oilsands, one of the company’s largest investors started a campaign to oust the company’s chief executive, Don Lindsay.

Bob Bishop, founder of Impala Asset Management, a Florida-based resource focused hedge fund, which has been a shareholder since 2016, wrote a letter in late February to the board; and then a few days later, just before coronavirus halted all air travel, he flew to Toronto to deliver his message in person to the company’s chair Sheila Murray: It’s time for Lindsay to go.

For Bishop, whose firm owned 1.9 per cent of Teck’s Class B shares at year end, oil was proving to be another mistake in a long line of miscalculations: Teck invested $1.1 billion in Frontier, one of the largest greenfield oil projects ever imagined in Canada, before it abruptly withdrew from the permitting process. Continue Reading →

Column: China targets Australian barley, but what matters is coal, LNG, iron ore – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – May 19, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – If China was looking to send a political message to Australia by effectively banning the import of a commodity, then barley fits the bill almost perfectly.

China on Monday imposed what it termed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totalling 80.5% on Australian barley imports from May 19, a move likely to end trade that has been worth between $980 million and $1.3 billion in recent years.

Australia’s official reaction has so far been muted, with Agriculture Minister David Littleproud saying the government will consider approaching the World Trade Organization for a ruling on China’s action. Continue Reading →

Column: Do renewables hold the upper hand against coal in post-coronavirus world? – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – May 14, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – Proponents of both renewable energy and fossil fuels see opportunities for growth as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, but working out who has the upper hand largely depends on the actions of governments and financiers.

With much of the world still struggling to contain the new coronavirus and economies devastated by lockdowns, so far the only thing that’s clear is that 2020 is going to be a bad year for new investments and projects.

New wind power installations may drop 12% and solar by 8% in 2020 compared with forecasts prior to the coronavirus outbreak, according to research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Continue Reading →

Teck CEO defends strategy at mining conference as investors launch criticism – by Dan Healing (Canadian Press/Global News – May 12, 2020)

https://globalnews.ca/

The CEO of Teck Resources Ltd. defended his company’s growth strategy on Tuesday as dissident shareholders criticized what they called “underperforming” investments in coal and oilsands.

“Our strategy is very straight forward,” said CEO Don Lindsay in a webcast speech at the online Bank of America Securities Global Metals, Mining and Steel conference.

“Teck is implementing a copper growth strategy financed by the strong cash flows from steel-making coal and zinc. We are focused on rebalancing our portfolio to ultimately make our copper business bigger than our coal business, beginning with QB2, which will double our copper production on a consolidated basis.” Continue Reading →

India: Coal Mining Sector: Road To De-Nationalisation – by Phoenix Legal (Mondaq.com – May 13, 2020)

https://www.mondaq.com/

The coal mining sector in India seems to have finally taken the last step towards its de-nationalisation after more than 40 years. The Mineral Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Amendment) promulgated as an ordinance in January 2020 has recently been passed by the Parliament. The Amendment seeks to allow greater private participation in the coal mining sector.

Background

India is the world’s second largest producer of coal after China, having cumulative total coal resources of 319.020 billion tonnes (till 2018) and is dependent on coal for many of its core sectors.

For instance, coal is the largest source of electricity generation in India and as per reports, fuels approximately 74% of India’s electricity. In addition to power and electricity, sectors like iron and steel, cement and other industries like fertilisers, pulp and paper are also among the largest consumers of coal in India. Continue Reading →

Australian state launches enquiry into Anglo coal mine blast (Reuters U.S. – May 11, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s Queensland on Monday ordered an independent enquiry into an explosion at a coal mine run by Anglo American in the state that last week critically injured five workers.

The accident took place 15 months after another Anglo American worker was killed at a nearby mining complex and comes just months after a review called for tighter regulation of the sector that has seen at least 48 deaths since 2000.

The probe will be led by a retired judge or Queens Counsel who will be able to conduct hearings, call witnesses and make broad inquiries relating to the blast, state mines minister Anthony Lynham said. Continue Reading →

Asia’s pandemic stimulus may slow the demise of coal – by Joe Brock (Reuters Canada – May 12, 2020)

https://ca.reuters.com/

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Coal power plant construction will push ahead in Asia despite falling electricity demand and environmental concerns as policymakers prioritise boosting economies crippled by the coronavirus pandemic, analysts say.

Fossil fuel demand will plummet this year as lockdowns sap electricity use, the International Energy Agency said in a report last month.

The European Union, International Monetary Fund and the United Nations have said that marks a once-in-a-generation opportunity to launch a ‘green recovery’, which includes Asia joining the global trend of ending support for coal power. Continue Reading →

China fires up coal power plant construction – by Chen Xuewan and Yang Ge (Nikkei Asian Review – May 5, 2020)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

Surge in first-quarter approvals possibly related to COVID-19 outbreak

China approved nearly 10 gigawatts of new coal-fired power generation projects in the first quarter, roughly equal to the amount approved for all of last year, amid a broader scramble to jump-start an economy hobbled by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Investment in infrastructure like power generation has played an important part in China’s rapid economic rise, especially in times of economic distress like the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

Many expect such spending to play an important role as Beijing tries to restart the economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak that has brought activity to a crawl, causing the economy to post its first quarterly contraction since modern record-keeping began. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-Iron ore, coking coal divorce over China’s coronavirus recovery – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – May 11, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, May 11 (Reuters) – There is an increasing disconnect between the two key ingredients for making steel, with iron ore safely within China’s economic bubble and coking coal more exposed to the rest of the coronavirus-riddled world.

The main difference is that while China imports the bulk of the iron ore with which it feeds its 1 billion-tonne-a-year steel industry, it has a large domestic coking coal industry and imports only about 10% of its needs.

Benchmark spot 62% iron ore for delivery to China MT-IO-QIN62=ARG, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, ended last week at $88.30 a tonne. Continue Reading →