Last week I wrote about the spike in Chinese demand for coal, which was driving a boom in coal M&A deals.
The phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by environmental campaigners, many of whom are quoted in a piece today in the New York Times.
The paper reports:
At ports in Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Africa, ships are lining up to load coal for furnaces in China, which has evolved virtually overnight from a coal exporter to one of the world’s leading purchasers.
Just two days ago the Wall Street Journal picked up on Chinese state media reports that the government was worried it might run out of coal. The paper reported:
State-run media reported that Beijing is considering capping domestic coal output in the 2011-2015 period, partly because officials worry miners are running down reserves too quickly to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding economy.
Those signals have been picked up by companies around the entire world, who are now clamouring to meet that demand.
By Paul Francis-Grey of mergermarket
Vallar, the mining investment vehicle of UK businessman Nathaniel Rothschild, has staked its future on Indonesia’s coal boom – in a deal which would create the first Indonesian-controlled company on the London Stock Exchange.
The company has paid $3bn for 75 per cent of Berau Coal Energy and 25 per cent of Bumi Resources – respectively Indonesia’s biggest and fifth-biggest coal miners. Part of the price will be paid in Vallar stock, with Bumi’s owners, the Bakrie Group, becoming the largest shareholder in the company.