Japan’s Idemitsu to Triple Coal Output at Australian Mine

Idemitsu Kosan Co. recently said that it will spend some 11.5 billion yen ($126 million) to roughly triple coal production at an Australian mine to 4.3 million metric tons (mt) in fiscal 2013, The Nikkei reported. At the Boggabri coal mine, subsidiary Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty. will ramp up output of steam coal. Current output of 1.5 million mt will be lifted to 2.5 million mt next fiscal year, then to 4.3 million mt in fiscal 2013. Idemitsu Kosan has three coal mines in Australia in addition to the Boggabri facility, which is located in New South Wales. Together, they are expected to churn out some 10 million mtpy.


Vale Blames Oversupply for Poor Colombia Coal Results

Thermal coal oversupply in the Atlantic market and logistics costs have led to very poor performance at Brazilian miner Vale’s Colombian coal mines, Reuters reported. In July, Vale reported that its overall second quarter profits fell 84% from the same period of 2008 due to lower iron ore output and prices. Vale bought 100% of the coal assets of Cementos Argos SA in Colombia in December 2008 for $305.8 million. These consist of the El Hatillo opencast mine, which produced 1.8 million metric tons for export in 2008, and the Cerro Largo reserve. Vale has been forced by low sales and logistical problems to almost fill its stockpile capacity at the mine.


Indonesian Government Upbeat About Coal Railway Project

In addition to a 30-year concession right, the Indonesian government will also award a competitive pricing scheme as an incentive to lure investors in a $1.5 billion, 185 km-coal railway project in Central Kalimantan. Data shows the project will affect 24 coal miners whose production capacity is between 300,000 mt and 5 million mt per year. The railway will be capable of transporting 10 million mt of coal per year, and 20 million mt after the first 10 years.


Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials to Continue Domestic Coal Production

Mitsubishi Materials Corp. will continue to produce coal in Japan even after winding down extraction at a mine in Hokkaido by the end of this year. According to The Nikkei, the company began mining coal on Japan’s northernmost main island last year for the first time in 18 years, amid a worldwide surge in coal prices. Although it will close that mine by year-end, in the fall it will start production at another site nearby because global coal prices have remained high. The output will be supplied primarily to a coal-fired thermal power plant run by Hokkaido Electric Power Co. It will also be used at a cement factory owned by Mitsubishi Materials.