July 19, 2020 Read More →

Anticipating declines in value, coal investors increasingly look to shed assets

Bloomberg Green ($):

The Mt Arthur coal mine in Australia is one of the world’s best. It’s got plenty of reserves and the low-cost supplies produced there are easily shipped to Southeast Asia, where there’s insatiable appetite for the fuel.

Yet owner BHP Group has a problem: It’s struggling to find a buyer willing to pay the right price.

The world’s biggest mining company’s unsuccessful effort over the past year to offload the asset highlights the predicament producers are in. To bow to mounting investor pressure to exit the most polluting fuel, BHP may need to sell a profitable mine for much less than it believes it’s worth. 

“Who else is going to buy a massive thermal coal mine at this point in time? Is any other mining house going to come in, I doubt it,” said Tim Buckley, a Sydney-based director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “Private equity is unfortunately the only answer.” 

[Thomas Biesheuvel, David Stringer, and Paul Burkhardt]

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