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Chinese Coal Sector Consolidates As Indian Coal Imports Surge

Coal India's production growth has been stagnant for the past two years due to problems obtaining environmental and regulatory approvals for mining.

One of the world's largest undeveloped coal deposits — Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi, host to some 7.5 billion MT of coal — will remain undeveloped for some time longer, according to reports last week from the government company charged with moving the project forward.

State-owned Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi said that it will delay a planned IPO of the project; the IPO was previously projected to raise up to $3 billion. The company plans to put off the transaction until more infrastructure is in place for a mining operation.

The owners of the project are reportedly also looking to renegotiate prices for an existing coal purchase contract with Aluminum Corporation of China (NYSE:ACH), which some analysts say may be pricing coal up to $20 per MT cheaper than coal being sold to China from elsewhere in Mongolia.

Spain is working on ways to keep its government-subsidized coal sector alive beyond an EU-mandated closure in 2019, according to Platts. The Spanish government had previously submitted plans to close subsidized coal mines in the country, but has now done an about-face and is looking for ways to keep the mines active, the nation's industry minister said.

Price round-up

As the world's coal markets are still without direction, NYMEX coal prices have remained mostly flat through the beginning of 2013. Central Appalachian moved up slightly last week, from $55.75 per ton to $57.22 per ton. Both Indonesian McCloskey and Eastern Rail held steady at $63.60 and $60.38 per ton, respectively. Western Rail PRB sits at $9.90 per ton.

Company news

Indonesian coal explorer Indus Coal (ASX:ICZ) expanded its project footprint this week, purchasing a 38-percent interest in two companies that own three coal projects in Indonesia's Jambi province for $6.5 million.

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