Anglo Sees Coal Prices Curbed, consider mines in South Africa & Mozambique

29 March 2012

Bloomberg - March 28, 2012

Power-station coal prices may not rise much above $100 a metric ton on average this year, said the head of thermal coal at Anglo American Plc (AAL), which operates the Cerrejon mine with BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Xstrata Plc. (XTA)

“Prices are around $103, and they’re under pressure,” Norman Mbazima said in an interview in Johannesburg yesterday. “But we are starting to see some support at that level, so I’d expect that we shouldn’t end up below $100 for the year. It’s not great, but it’s still profitable for us.”

Anglo is considering digging the New Largo and Elders mines in South Africa and looking at a second phase expansion at Cerrejon mine in Colombia with its partners as it bets on higher demand for the power-plant fuel. The London-based company is also seeking coal acquisitions in countries including Colombia, Indonesia and Mozambique.

While coal prices are likely to improve next year, they probably won’t return to the levels seen in 2011, Mbazima said. Coal shipped through South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal, the largest export harbor for the fuel in the country where Anglo has most of its mines, climbed as high as $128.62 a ton in January last year, according to Hampshire-based IHS McCloskey data on Bloomberg. They’ve fallen by a fifth since then.

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Categories: Energy

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