Reuters reported today that a Japanese trading firm, Sojitz Corp. (FWB:XEB) is in conversation with a coal developer in Australia with plans to buy a mid-sized asset. Currently, the trading house owns the Minerva mine in Queensland, but this is set to reach end of life in 2019, according to Reuters.
As quoted in the publication:
Sojitz may be in a good position to snare a bargain as a slide in coal prices to near five-year lows has forced miners, led by BHP Billiton Ltd and Glencore, to cancel coal projects, shut mines and sack thousands of workers. A proposed $10 billion Australian coal port expansion near the Great Barrier Reef was shelved last week by its sponsors, who pointed to a lack of demand for the extra capacity.
Masaaki Bito, general manager of the coal department at Sojitz, told Reuters:
What we are aiming at is an asset which can generate synergy from the existing operation… something near Minerva where the current infrastructure and staff can be used.