Anglo puts brakes on driverless mine trucks

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 2-Oct-19

Anglo American has opted to overhaul the existing fleet of haulage trucks at its Dawson coal mine in Queensland, rather than replace them with autonomous trucks. A spokeswoman say a feasibility study has concluded that the deployment of autonomous vehicles would not be the best use of capital at present; however, Anglo American may reconsider using driverless trucks when its existing fleet reaches the end of its operational life. At present, Whitehaven is the only Australian coal producer to have committed to the use of autonomous trucks, which are now widely used at iron ore mines in the Pilbara.

CORPORATES
ANGLO AMERICAN PLC, WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED – ASX WHC, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

New Hope blasts loophole for activists

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 23-Sep-19

New Hope Corporation’s CEO Shane Stephan has called for the abolition of laws that exempt environmental activists from penalties for engaging in secondary boycotts. He says it is not right that anti-coal activists can target suppliers to the mining industry with action that would otherwise be illegal under the Competition and Consumer Act. New Hope recently advised that 150 workers at its New Acland mine will be retrenched at the end of October. A proposed $900m expansion of the mine has been on hold for more than a decade.

CORPORATES
NEW HOPE CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX NHC, WASHINGTON H SOUL PATTINSON AND COMPANY LIMITED – ASX SOL, ADANI MINING PTY LTD

Warming link to coalmine refusal

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 2 : 19-Sep-19

The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission has rejected South Korean firm Kepco’s proposed Bylong thermal coal project. Kepco has so far spent $700 million on the project, which is located in the winemaking Mudgee region. It aims to mine 120 million tonnes of coal for export over 25 years, with the prospect that the NSW government would secure $290 million in mining royalties. In knocking back the Bylong project, the IPC cited concerns over its impact on groundwater and agricultural land, as well as noting that "greenhouse gas aspects of the project remain problematical".

CORPORATES
NEW SOUTH WALES. INDEPENDENT PLANNING COMMISSION, KEPCO INCORPORATED

We can thrive in low carbon world: Whitehaven

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 12-Sep-19

Whitehaven Coal has undertaken modelling to determine the possible impact on its business of countries cutting their carbon emissions to curtail global warming in line with the Paris climate agreement. Based on a scenario where countries seek to limit temperature increases to under two degrees Celsius, demand for Australian coal would contract by under 4.5 per cent per year over the next two decades. WWhitehaven is confident it would remain cash-flow positive over that period, while it contends demand for its coal will fall less than for other Australian coal, due to low impurity levels and high energy content.

CORPORATES
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED – ASX WHC

Future of New Hope’s Acland mine expansion unclear

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 11-Sep-19

The Queensland Court of Appeal has thrown out an appeal by the Oakey Coal Action Alliance to stop the $900 million third stage expansion of New Hope’s New Acland mine. The mine is due to close in 2020, but the proposed expansion would allow it to operate until 2031, as well as boosting yearly output from around 4.6 million tonnes to 7.6 million tonnes. However, despite the Court’s decision, the future of the expansion is still unclear, with the Court yet to make its final orders on the matter.

CORPORATES
NEW HOPE CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX NHC, OAKEY COAL ACTION ALLIANCE, COURT OF APPEAL (QUEENSLAND)

BHP to review membership of coal lobby

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 6-Sep-19

BHP says the latest review of its membership of industry associations will include Coal21, which has links to the Minerals Council of Australia. The resources giant is under growing pressure to sever its links with pro-coal lobbyists, but it has recommended that shareholders vote against a resolution calling for it to cancel its membership of the MCA due to the latter’s stance on climate change. Meanwhile, CFO Peter Beaven says BHP would be open to selling its coal assets at the right price; he adds that a decision on a proposed brownfield expansion of the Olympic Dam copper mine may be delayed until 2022.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, COAL21 LIMITED, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Whitehaven books record profit, doles out special dividend

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: Online : 16-Aug-19

Whitehaven Coal has reported a statutory net profit of $527.9 million for the 2019 fiscal year, while advising that its net profit after tax of $564.9 million was a record one for the company. Whitehaven’s underlying EBITDA of $1.04 billion was up $29.8 million on the previous corresponding period. Whitehaven declared a final dividend of $0.13 per share, along with a special dividend of $0.17 per share. Whitehaven achieved an average price of $US100/tonne for its thermal coal for the year, up $US2/tonne.

CORPORATES

Whitehaven boss hints at hefty dividends for shareholders

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 18 : 12-Jul-19

Whitehaven Coal will post underlying earnings of $567.6m for 2018-19, according to the consensus forecast of analysts polled by Bloomberg. It would be the group’s second successive record profit, with Whitehaven benefiting from the premium at which its thermal coal has traded compared with the benchmark price. MD Paul Flynn has given indications that Whitehaven will maintain its dividend payout ratio, although some analysts suggest that it may be prudent to retain some cash given its plans to develop the Vickery and Winchester South mines.

CORPORATES
WHITEHALL ASSOCIATES, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED, BLOOMBERG LP, FARALLON CAPITAL PTY LTD

BHP energises coal to dodge China import restrictions

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 18 : 19-Jun-19

BHP is looking at ways to upgrade the quality of thermal coal produced at its Mt Arthur mine in New South Wales, in order to increase exports to Japan and South Korea. The move is aimed at offsetting the impact of China’s restrictions on coal imports from Australia. Coal buyers in Japan and Korea generally prefer coal that contains about 6,000 kilocalories of energy per kilogram, whereas the coal that BHP ships to China typically has 5,500 kilocalories of energy per kilogram.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, YANCOAL AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX YAL, S&P GLOBAL PLATTS

Adani nod ‘common sense’: Yancoal boss

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 17-Jun-19

Yancoal Australia CEO Reinhold Schmidt has welcomed the decision by Queensland’s Department of Environment to approve Adani’s groundwater management plan for its proposed Carmichael coal mine. The decision was arguably accelerated by Labor’s poor showing in Queensland seats in the federal election, but Schmidt says the mining sector wants consistent and predictable rules, no matter which party is in government.

CORPORATES
YANCOAL AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX YAL, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE PROTECTION, ADANI MINING PTY LTD