A Publication Dedicated To Coal People

                          August 2008  Issue 


coal news worldwide

Rulmeca, BG Italy, leading

manufacturer of rollers and motorized pulleys for belt conveyors, has opened a manufacturing unit in Tianjin, China.  The new facility will strengthen Rulmeca’s position in Asia and provide a platform for continued growth in the region.  Main target for Rulmeca in China is to develop the domestic market to gain confidence of industries as equipment manufacturers, engineering and end users among Chinese customers.  The company will produce top quality, world class rollers and motorized pulleys for the bulk handling industries from coal mining to cement plants, from fertilizer plants to sugar and rice mills, from seaports to airports.


A Mining Plan has been approved for a coal block that Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Power plans to use for a 4,000 LMW Ultra Mega Power Project at Sasan in Madhya Pradesh, New Delhi.  Coal from the Moher-Amiori block would be used to generate power for Sasan UMPP.


Unity Mine at Neath, in the middle of the Welsh countryside, has re-opened.  Unity Mine has 60 employees and this is expected to double soon.  Objective is to extract one million tons of clean, quality anthracite coal a year over a period of 20 years. 


Alliance Mining Company has acquired Stilfontein Mining Supplies, an engineering equipment supplier to the mining sector, with distribution centers in Klerksdorp, Potchefstroom, Weldom and Carletonville.  The company supplied electrical starters and electrical equipment to a number of motor control centers, shafts and gold plants locally, as well as exporting equipment into Africa.


Saber Energy Corp. has completed the first phase of coalbed methane exploration in the Kalahari, in Botswana, and conducted a feasibility study and environmental impact assessment for the possible routing of a pipeline to transport the gas produced.    The quality of the gas was high, about 98 percent pure methane. In the next phase of exploration, the gas will be piped to a central location where it will be flared and further monitored and verified, to get a better understanding of the resource and establish the gas flow rates.


ArcelorMittal has purchased Mid Vol Coal, based in Virginia and West Virginia with productions of 1.5 million tons of coking coal last year and reserves of 85 million tons. The company recently bought stakes in South Africa’s Coal of Africa, Australian mining group Macarthur Coal and has bought three mines in Russia.


Nigeria’s Western Goldfields has discovered 62,400,000 tons of proven reserves of coal deposits worth $1.2 billion, which could be used for generation of electric power.  The company aims to produce a total of 1,500MW of electricity from a combination of mines and power stations utilizing domestic coal.  The United Bank of Africa and China’s Huadian Corporation to exploit the reserves will partner the company.  The company will apply for a license from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to build independent power plants after ascertaining that it would be economically viable to venture into such an undertaking.


Germany’s RWE is considering buying a 100-million-ton coal mine in Poland’s city of Sosnowiec, a mine that was closed down 10 years ago.  Recently, RWE signed a 1.5 billion euro deal to build an 800 MW power plant with Poland’s Kompania Weglowa, and is looking for potential locations for a second such plant.  Kompania Weglowa would provide hard coal for the power plant.


Ethiopia plans to develop western coal reserves for fertilizer and power generation at a cost of approximately $730 million.  China National Complete Import & Export Corporation will develop the reserves.  Studies indicate the reserve has potential to produce between 300,000 tons of urea, 20,000 tons of methanol and 90 megawatts of electric power.


South Africa’s Sasol Ltd plans to build two coal mine-to-oil projects in China, jointly with Shenhua Group Corporation Ltd.   The projects are expected to start operating in China by 2016, each capable of producing some 80,000 barrels a day, or 3.4 million tons per year, of diesel oil, jet fuel, naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas.


Ausenco Limited and Taggart Global USA, LLC have formed a joint venture to pursue coal preparation plant engineering opportunities worldwide, with the exception of North America and China, which will target a project pipeline in excess of $10 billion.  The 50/50 joint venture, which will initially run for five years, brings together two of the global leaders in engineering project and construction management for the resource industry.  The global pool of committed and targeted project expenditure this joint venture will specifically target is between $10 and $15 billion over the next four to five years.  Talks are underway for significant projects in Sub-Sahara Africa, Vietnam, Mongolia and Indonesia.


New World Resources of the Netherlands plans to invest $1.3 billion to develop and reopen the Debiensko mine in southern Poland where it will employ 3,000 workers and extract some 4 million tons of coal a year.  NWR unit Karbonia has permission to extract the coal, which has some 100 million tons in reserve.  NWR has 229 million tons of reserves in the Czech Republic.


Consortium Energia MK, a group of Bulgarian coal mines, has a tender to buy the 630-megawatt coal-fired power Bobov Dol thermal power plant in western Bulgaria for $80.13 million.  The consortium will spend 60 million euros in environmental upgrades to bring the plant up to European Union standards.  Bobov Dol has two operational units with output capacity of 210 megawatts and one 210-megawatt unit that have been shut.


L&L International Holdings, Inc., Seattle, WA, has acquired 60 percent equity in two coal mines in Yunnan, China.  The DaPuAn coal mine and SuTsong coal mine produce approximately 150,000 tons and 90,000 tons, respectively in 2007.  Based on estimates the two mines will generate $11 million profit in 2008.  L&L plans to invest $20 million in the joint venture to expand production to 450,000 tons, following government approval.  L&L also plans to construct a new coke factory at the DaPuAn mine.


SouthGobi Energy Resources has opened its Ovoot Tolgoi coal mine in southern Mongolia. 45 miles north of the Mongolia border with China.  Open pit coal production began in April and the mine is now operating on a 24-hour per day basis, with a workforce of 180.


Active Control Technology Inc., Toronto, Canada, has signed a partnership agreement to sell ActiveMine, a wireless communications and locating systems for mines, in China.  China has the largest number of coal mines in the world and, according to management’s estimates, represents a market opportunity of $3 billion.  The demonstration system will be installed in an underground longwall mine owned by ACT’s China partner, and located in Shanxi province.  The mine will be used for tours by prospective customers and for government certifications.


AE Automotion Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malaysian ÅE Models Holdings Bhd, has a $12.75 million contract with a leading coal mining company in Indonesia.  The contract is for the design, construction, and fabrication of the coal handling facilities of Asam-Asam Port at Asam-Asam, Indonesia.  The project is expected to start immediately, for duration of 18 months.


Severstal, Russia’s largest steel maker, Moscow, has submitted a bid to acquire a coal mining complex in the U.S.  Severstal has acquired several U.S. steel assets in recent years as Russian companies have accumulated nearly 10 percent of U.S. steelmaking capacity.  The company owns the Rouge Steel plant and this year acquired the Sparrows Point mill in Baltimore, MD.  Severstal also owns the SeverCorr mill in Mississippi and is pursuing a bid for Esmark Inc. which owns Wheeling-Pittsburgh.


Bucyrus International will deliver an automated plow longwall system to DTEK (Donbass Fuel Energy Company) in the Ukraine in the first quarter of 2009, to be used at the Stepnaya mine at a newly developed face.  The very difficult conditions with seam heights of 0.9 to 1 meter, weak floor and roof, and very hard coal, present a challenge, but the Gleithobel plow system GH 800 is designed to handle hard environments.  Bucyrus will also deliver roof supports with the electrohydraulic control system PMC-R, and a face conveyor with a full automated Gleithobel.


South Korean steel producer POSCO has acquired a 10 percent stake in Macarthur Coal Ltd for $404 million, marking the third overseas investor to hold a major steak in the Australian miner.


A total of 17 companies from India and abroad have expressed interest to Coal India Ltd for developing and operating high-capacity underground mines in seven blocks in the country on a long-term basis.  The blocks have an estimated geological mining reserve of approximately 1,200 million tons. Reliance Natural Resources Ltd, Essar Mineral Resources and Essel Mining are among those interested.  Others are Rio Tinto of Australia, Anglo American of the UK, Asscon Infrastructure, DBT and Walter Mining.  The coal major will finance the cost of development of the proposed mines and would enter into long-term agreements with eligible parties for procurement of coal on operation cost-plus  basis.


Australia’s Riverdale Mining plans to open the first coal mine in the western Mozambican province of Tete by the end of 2010, after obtaining a license covering 290,080 hectares.  One of the tenements at Benga in the Moatize coal basin has an inferred reserve of 1.9 billion tons of coking coal on an area of 4,000 hectares. Plans are also underway for Australia’s Elgas to construct a coal-fired power station at Benga, with the initial capacity to generate 500 megawatts and eventually to produce 2,000 megawatts.


BHP Billiton has approval for stage one development of the Maruwai metallurgical coal basin in Indonesia for an investment of some $100 million.  Initial development is the Haju open cut mine along with a river port, which is expected to produce approximately one million tons per year of met coal and eventually to expand to some 2 million tons a year.  Construction is underway and first production is expected in mid-2009.  A feasibility study is now underway for development of a 3-5 mtpa coal mine at the larger Lampunut deposit at Maruwai.


Spice Energy, New Delhi, India, has signed a 20-year contract with Indonesian miner PT Tambang Batubara  Bukit Asam Tbk PTBA JK to buy 6 million tons of coal from 2011 for a proposed 1,000 MW thermal power plant in southern India.