You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Except if you’re Anglo American or other miners with thermal coal assets: then you seemingly can’t please all of the people any of the time.
Anglo did win some ESG plaudits for its plans to spin off its remaining South African thermal coal mines into a Johannesburg-listed company called Thungela. It also took sustainability brickbats from those who saw it cutting loose a problem to its shareholders.
Boatman Capital, the short selling research group, this week questioned assumptions around rehabilitation of Thungela’s mines, arguing new regulations could nearly triple costs to $1.4bn wiping out the company’s value. South Africa’s newest coal miner was always going to have a turbulent start as international investors scarpered: its London-listed shares dropped nearly 25 per cent on Monday’s debut before jumping on Tuesday.