. Energy News .

Concern as China firm to buy Australian coal mine
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Sept 28, 2011

Western Australia's Premier Colin Barnett Wednesday raised concerns about foreign ownership in his resource-rich state after it was revealed a Chinese firm intends to buy a crucial coal mine.

Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers has agreed to sell Premier Coal, which produces about 3.5 million metric tonnes of thermal coal each year, to Yancoal for Aus$296.8 million (US$293 million).

Subject to the approval of Australian and Chinese regulators, the deal will see Yancoal acquire the mining operations south of Perth which currently supply coal to a government-run power station and domestic industrial companies.

Barnett said the latest deal again raised concerns about the impact of the foreign ownership of resources on the security of the state's power supplies.

"There is a group of people within government working on the implications of this right now," Barnett told ABC radio.

"Indeed while these are private companies, the coal does belong to the state and there are provisions in the state agreement that ensure the coal is reserved for state domestic use."

Barnett, who earlier this month travelled to Beijing in a bid to encourage Chinese investment in an embattled port and rail project, said the state government was ultimately unlikely to oppose to sale.

But he added: "I'm not jumping up and down celebrating, this is a problem for the state, no doubt about it."

The deal comes after Indian power giant Lanco Infratech threatened to stop coal supply to a Western Australian power station that provides about 10 percent of the state's electricity after buying a nearby thermal coal mine.

Lanco suggested ending its contracts with a state-owned power station, saying it could not sell the coal so cheaply and remain viable, a move which prompted Barnett to threaten to block Lanco's export plans.

If the Premier Coal purchase goes ahead it will be the biggest Australian acquisition by Yanzhou Coal, of which Yancoal is a wholly-owned subsidiary, since its Aus$3.5 billion takeover of coal miner Felix Resources in 2009.

Yancoal last month spent Aus$222 million on miner Syntech Resources, adding to its 30 percent stake in the Ashton coal mine purchased for US$250 million from IMC Resources.

Australia approved Yanzhou's bid for Felix in October 2009 in what was then the biggest takeover by a Chinese company and considered a breakthrough for the booming Asian country's scramble for resources.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said he was confident the sale, which must be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board, would go ahead.

"They'll look to see whether there's any national interest issues but at the end of the day we'd be pretty confident that this would get through," he said.

Wesfarmers is one of Australias largest public companies and employers, with its diverse operations covering supermarkets, department stores, coal mining, energy, insurance, chemicals, and fertilisers.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story --

Related Links
Surviving the Pits


Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

China, India buy up Australian coal field
Sydney (AFP) Sept 20, 2011
Energy-hungry India and China have snapped up almost all of Australia's next big coal field, the northern Galilee basin, three years before production even begins, a report said Tuesday. Just 1.2 billion of the more than 20 billion tonnes on offer in the rich Queensland field has not been sold to Indian and Chinese interests, following last weekend's announcement that GVK would buy Hancock C ... read more

IMF, World Bank eye carbon tax on airline, ship fuels

U.S. Defense aims for clean energy

CO2 storage law falls through in Germany

S.Korea minister blames blackout on weather, reports

Turks escalate East Med gas confrontation

Taiwan makes electricity saving with traffic lights

BP enters southern corridor pipeline race

Pumping in Iraq oil pipeline suspended: officials

New energy in search for future wind

Investment blows into India's wind sector

Spain's Gamesa signs deal with Chinese firm

MPs: Britain needs North Sea 'supergrid'

Cheap and efficient solar cell made possible by linked nanoparticles

Lessons to be Learned from Nature in Photosynthesis

Copper Film Could Lower Touch Screen, LED and Solar Cell Costs

Nature offers key lessons on harvesting solar power

US, Ukraine sign nuclear cooperation deal

Anti-nuclear demonstrators demand plant in Tokyo

Rosatom not worried about Siemens move

For nuclear, Fukushima was a just bump in the road

JBEI identify new advanced biofuel as an alternative to diesel fuel

Motor fuel from wood and water?

Researchers sequence dark matter of life

USDA Scientists Use Commercial Enzyme to Improve Grain Ethanol Production

Chang'e-2 sends data back from L2

Mythbusting for Tiangong

Tiangong-1 launch will pave way for China's first space station

China to launch unmanned space module by Sept 30

Kenya PM says under pressure to close Somali border

Natural nanostructure can sequester carbon

Rich nations must help poor states cut emissions: minister

Uncertain climate models impair long-term climate strategies

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement