Coal Top Stories

China mulls allowing some Australian coal imports amid ban

The shipments that could be cleared are those that arrived…

Tension in India over plan to turn Goa into coal hub

Opponents say New Delhi's projects would cut through ecologically sensitive…

Latest Stories

Judge pares fine over deaths after hearing about UK Coal’s dire finances

The UK Daily Record reports a judge hearing how four miners died following safety breaches in 2006 and 2007 at Britain's biggest mining firm – UK Coal – has indicated he will not impose fines at a level which would "cripple" a company which in court was described as being in a "pretty desperate situation". UK Coal is a shadow of its former self – in May 2008 it was trading at £5.84 while on Thursday in London trade the company exchanged hands for 34p giving it a market capitalization of not much more than £100 million.

World’s largest coal-to-biomass power station conversion nears completion

Argus Media reports the biomass conversion of Germany utility RWE's Tilbury, UK, power plant is on schedule to be completed before the end of this year, possibly as soon as November. The conversion is relatively straightforward, with the main issues material handling and logistics, according to RWE. The coal-fired power station on the banks of the Thames in England, previously scheduled for shut down in 2015 under new EU environmental regulations, hopes to produce up to 750 megawatts of green power. The news comes a day after a leaked European roadmap for energy use showed the use of coal for power generation dropping dramatically and that within 20 years all homes on the continent could be powered by wind-generated electricity.

EU Roadmap: wind will blow away coal, nuclear within 40 years, double your energy bill

The FT reports in a European Commission report on green energy leaked Monday all scenarios point to wind farms becoming the biggest source of electricity in the bloc by 2050, outstripping both coal and nuclear power. Coal use could fall to very low levels it is predicted and gas would be the "bridging" fossil fuel for the next 20-plus years. Under these scenarios wind energy will more than triple its power output by 2020 and ten years later all of Europe's 240 million homes could be wind-powered. The downside is the average household's energy bill would double at the same time.

New South Wales to section off part of park for mining

BHP Billiton has convinced the New South Wales state government to carve out a piece of a proposed national park to be used for coal mining. Sydney Morning Herald reported that "the Minister for the Environment, Robyn Parker, confirmed a finger of the proposed national park reaching to the Georges River will be left to the company for longwall mining. Another swatch of land in the centre of the park will also be mined under the compromise, but there would be no undermining of the national park."

Xstrata’s South African miners poised to strike

More labour unrest is brewing at South African mines. Reuters reports that workers poised to strike at 16:00 GMT today at Xstrata's operations across the country. The strike is over an employee share ownership program, Reuters said, quoting a union spokesman. More workers are expected to down tools at the start of the Monday morning shift.

Groups sue to block W. Virginia coal mine

Bloomberg reports that three environmental groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the proposed Highland Reylas mountaintop removal mine in Logan County, West Virginia. The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and the Sierra Club filed the lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Huntington challenging a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The groups claim the corps failed to consider scientific studies that say mountaintop removal mines pose health threats to residents.

Walter Energy jumps on hopes BHP’s US buying spree will continue

In play Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) jumped higher by more than 7% in pre-market trading to over $80/share after the UK's Independent newspaper reported that Anglo American (LON:AAL) and BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) may bid for the company. By mid-afternoon the volatile stock – over the past 12 months shares in Walter Energy have traded as low as $56 and as high as $143 – had settled back to trade up around 2%. Global miners are scrambling for coal assets as metallurgical coal trades at record levels above $330/tonne. Walter Energy, which also produces coal seam gas, would follow BHP's August $12 billion buy of US shale gas company Petrohawk.

Rio rocks: iron ore output now tops half a million tonnes a day

Rio Tinto, the world’s second- largest mining company, said third-quarter iron ore output and coking coal production reached record highs after recovering from disruptions caused by flooding in Australia earlier in the year and continued strong demand from Asia. Iron ore production increased to just shy of 50 million metric tons and hard coking coal production was 55% higher than the second quarter. Analysts say iron ore prices may climb above $200 a ton on the back of supply shortages while metallurgical coal have been trading at record highs of $330 during 2011.

Peabody’s $4.7 billion takeover of Macarthur clears final regulatory hurdle

St. Louis Business Journal reports Peabody Energy on Thursday received clearance from the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China to proceed with its and ArcelorMittal’s $4.7 billion takeover bid for Macarthur Coal Ltd. in Australia. The Macurthur deal is good news for the US giant after it recently lost out on a chance to co-develop the world’s largest deposit of high-quality coking coal. Miners are scrambling for coal assets and coal for power-generation has averaged about $130/tonne this year from less than $100 in 2010 while metallurgical coal has been trading at record levels of $330/tonne.