Coal Mining News

Clean coal’s uncertain future in Germany

The recent passing of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology bill by the Bundestag (German Parliament) should be seen as a small victory in the battle to make CCS technology and ‘clean coal’ a reality. However, numerous political and economic barriers continue to persist, around the commercialization of CCS and raise the question as to whether CCS and clean coal are a pipe dream rather than an end-of-pipe solution.

Macarthur Coal lures bidders as Peabody rouses China

Peabody Energy Corp. is leaving the door open for a rival bidder to step in for Macarthur Coal Ltd. by offering less for the Australian mining company than it did last year, even as profit is projected to double.

Proving technology to convert low-rank coals into liquid hydrocarbons

Regal Resources, via its 50% owned entity UCTL Pty, has retained Stanford University in California, one of the world’s leading research universities, to conduct Phase Two Proof of Concept Testing of its UCTL technology.

Rio Tinto investors wake up Thursday $10 billion poorer

Rio Tinto reported a surge in profits due to strong demand in Asia and higher metals prices on Thursday but shares in the company spiked lower in New York, opening down more than 7% and wiping more than $10 billion off the value of the globe's second largest miner. Net earnings for the first half year were $7.6bn, up 30% on the $5.8bn the firm made a year earlier. Commenting on the results chairman Jan du Plessis said the economic environment remains volatile but expected the Australia-based company continue to experience higher than average growth for the rest of the year. The company also said it was experiencing high cost inflation in some "mining hotspots" and cautioned that the strong Australian and Canadian dollar were impacting its profitability.

New $3.9 billion Australia coal export terminal faces more delays, ballooning costs

A new coal terminal proposed for Gladstone port's Wiggins Island in Queensland has met with delays for the third time this year, as the project's 16 coal company shareholders including Cockatoo Coal, Yancoal and Xstrata have still to raise all of the capital for the project. Costs for the first stage of the Wiggins Island coal terminal have escalated to A$3.7 billion ($3.9 billion) from A$2 billion in October 2010, a spokesman for the coal industry consortium that is backing the terminal said Wednesday.

One tree-sitter arrested at ex-Massey mine

One protesters associated with the Radical Action for Mountain People's Survival Campaign has been arrested after climbing down from a tree platform he has been occupying at Coal River Mountain West Virginia since July 20. Becks Kolins (pictured on the left) was arrested by state police. Kolins and Catherine-Ann MacDougal climbed the trees to protest operations at the Bee Tree surface mine owned by Alpha Natural Resources, the company that bought Massey Energy following a deadly blast at one of its coal mines. McDougal says she's staying put.

Cloud Peak Energy quarterly profits $94.6 million

Coal producer Cloud Peak Energy on Tuesday reported net income for the second quarter of $94.6 million or $1.56 per share, rising from $15.9 million or $0.51 per share in the year-ago quarter. Revenues for the quarter grew to $387.7 million from $341.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Cloud Peak expects production from the three company-operated mines for 2011 at 93 million to 96 million tons.

Group says Alberta coal-fired power plant approval rushed to beat climate rules

An environmental group filing a court challenge over the approval of a coal-fired power plant in northern Alberta says the provincial regulator deliberately rushed the go-ahead to help the company avoid new federal rules on carbon emissions.

Yanzhou Coal buys two Australian coal mines for $202 million

Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. China's fourth-largest coal producer, yesterday acquired two Australian coal producers, Syntech Holdings Pty Ltd and Syntech Holdings II Pty Ltd, for A$202.5 million in cash.

South Africa mines minister says nationalisation wrong, dangerous question to ask

Asking whether South Africa should nationalise its mining industry was the wrong, dangerous question to ask in searching for the answer to South Africa’s “evil triplets” of poverty, inequality and unemployment, said Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.

Xstrata profits jump 27%, expects even better second half

Anglo-Swiss mining giant Xstrata said on Tuesday its first half net profit jumped 27 per cent to $US2.9 billion and that it expected even better earnings for the second half. "A substantially stronger financial performance in the first half reflected growing demand for our products from emerging Asian economies and recovering Western markets," Xstrata chief executive Mick Davis said in a statement.

South Africa mine nationalization 'closest since end of apartheid'

Businessweek quotes a confidential report prepared for South Africa's mining CEOs as saying South Africa’s ruling party is closer to some form of nationalization than at any other time since the end of apartheid. A government takeover of mines could choke investments in a country with metal and mineral reserves estimated at 2.5 trillion and lead to a collapse of the currency, the rand. Firebrand Julius Malema (pictured), the leader of the youth wing of the ruling African National Congress which often acts as kingmaker in the country’s politics, is spearheading the campaign to seize mines, farms and banks. Malema is never far from headlines in the country with racially charged comments but now an anti-corruption police unit is probing a trust fund owned by him allegedly being used to funnel payments in exchange for securing government tenders.

Australia mining boom has two speeds

Call it the two-speed mining boom. On the one hand, there are all the active miners and explorers attending Diggers & Dealers in Kalgoorlie who - provided they have a viable project - can lay their hands on enough money to get into operation. But according to the ASX website, there are more than a dozen resource floats languishing with "to be advised" sitting alongside their listing dates.

150,000 South Africa coal workers to return to work Tuesday

Workers in South Africa's coal sector are expected to return to their posts on Tuesday after the unions and the SA Chamber of Mines signed a two-year wage agreement, ending an eight-day strike. 150,000 workers at miners Anglo American Thermal Coal, Delmas Coal, Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga, Kangra Coal, Optimum Coal and Xstrata Coal were on strike over wages. Talks with striking workers in the country's gold sector, where 200,000 workers are on strike continued on Monday. Mineworkers are asking for a 14% wage increase – far above the inflation rate in Africa's largest economy which hovers around the 4% level.

ArcelorMittal, Peabody bid for Macarthur Coal turns hostile

The Peabody-ArcelorMittal combine has offered a bid of AUD 15.50 per share plus a dividend of 16 cents per share, following the rejection of their conditional offer for an increase to AUD 16 per share by the Australian miner's Board.

Reuters: Ukraine mourns after 37 die in mine accidents

Two separate accidents at mines in Ukraine have claimed the lives of 37 miners, Reuters reported Sunday: Rescue work ended on Sunday at two Ukrainian coal mines where accidents killed 37, and the former Soviet republic held a national day of mourning. An explosion in a mine in the Luhansk region early on Friday killed at least 26 people and injured two, according to an updated report on the Emergencies Ministry website. Also early on Friday, 11 miners died and four were injured at a state-owned mine in the neighbouring Donetsk region when a piece of heavy machinery collapsed.

Let's get political: Olivia Newton-John raises alarm over fracking near Byron Bay

A grassroots movement opposed to coal-seam gas (CSG) mining got a boost of star power on Saturday, when 70s pop singer Olivia Newton-John panned the controversial practice. The Australian singer, who starred alongside John Travolta in the hit movie-musical Grease, launched a scathing attack on the mining industry after learning several sites near her luxury Byron Bay resort were under threat, The Sunday Telegraph reported. In an open letter to Australians warning about the health effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, Newton-John says she is "horrified to learn of the extensive plans for coal-seam gas and shale gas exploration in Australia." Image of Olivia Newton-John is from Wikimedia, by gdcgraphics.

Global steel production to hit a record of 1500 million tons in 2011

China’s crude steel output hit a all time record of 350.64 million tons in the first six months of 2011. The steel output growth rate was 11.5 percentage points higher than that in the same period of last year.

BHP Australian Miners Resume Strikes Ahead of Further Talks

Workers at BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP)’s coking-coal mines in Australia, the world’s largest exporter of the steelmaking ingredient, resumed strikes Saturday as labor unions prepare for the last two rounds of talks with management.

Plans are under way for two coal upgrade plants

A subsidiary of coal miner Bumi Resources, and Japanese steel manufacturer Kobe Steel are jointly constructing a smelter that will transform brown coal into higher-quality coal.

Striking S.African coal and gold miners to meet the Chamber of Mines in separate talks on Monday

Striking S.African coal and gold miners will meet the Chamber of Mines in separate talks on Monday in a bid to end stoppages that have cost Africa’s largest economy tens of millions of dollars in lost output.

Six dead in covered-up coal mine accident in China

Six people were killed in a coal mine explosion that had been covered up for 13 days in China's northeastern Heilongjiang Province, a provincial work safety official said today.

$100 million Wyoming clean coal plant suspended

General Electric and the University of Wyoming have suspended plans for a $100 million clean coal research facility near Cheyenne amid uncertainty in the nation's energy policy.

Iran crude steel output up 11.6 pct in H1: report

Some 484.8 million tons of crude steel was produced in Asia during the mentioned period, showing 6.7 percent increase in comparison to corresponding time span the year before, the report added.

Coal, power plants blamed for almost half of industrial air pollution

The most toxic air pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants can be found in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, according to a new study released by the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council and Physicians for Social Responsibility.