Yanzhou Coal injects $2.8bn into troubled Australian unit

Yanzhou Coal injects $2.8bn into troubled Australian unit

Yancoal’s Moolarben mine in New South Wales. (Courtesy of Moorlaben

Yanzhou Coal, one of China’s largest coal miners, will inject $2.8 billion (A$3.2bn) into its Australian subsidiary Yancoal (ASX:YAL) in an attempt to keep it afloat as coal prices flirt with five-year lows.

Yancoal, which has seven mines in Australia, said on Monday it would raise A$2.3bn through a subordinated capital notes rights offer to pay down a mounting debt pile and fund its existing operations.

The Chinese group, which owns 78% of Yancoal, has also given an undertaking that it will “ensure Yancoal remains solvent,” for as long as it remains majority shareholder.

Yancoal stock closed down 27% at 16 cents on the Australian Stock Exchange following the announcement. So far this year it has dropped 71%, a much bigger fall than its closest local rivals Whitehaven Coal and New Hope Coal.

Yanzhou Coal injects $2.8bn into troubled Australian unit

Source: Google Finance.

The global coal industry is in a prolonged slump following a decade-long investment boom that saw a glut of supply overtake demand.

Coal markets have been hurt by a glut of raw material, as supply rises from mining operations in hubs like Australia and demand growth in Asia eases.

Prices of thermal coal used to create electricity and metallurgical coal, which is consumed by steelmakers, have been trading near multi-year lows.

In Australia alone more than 10,000 jobs have been shed over three years as companies mothball mines and slash costs.

The package of funding injection comes after Yanzhou Coal ditched a plan to buy out the minority 22% stake in its Australian arm earlier this year.