Yankuang Group and Shandong Group merge to form mining giant
The companies announced last month that they had come to an agreement over a merger, but they had been waiting for approval from the authorities before confirming the deal. This approval was received on Friday 14 August, according to the Hong Kong office of Yankuang Energy Group.
The merger has been straightforward, with both companies already being owned by the state-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission of Shandong Province.
The new merger ties in with Beijing’s attempts to make the coal mining industry more streamlined. It is also felt that concentrating coal production in the hands of a few large companies will make the industry easier to regulate.
The new Shandong Energy Company is due to become China’s second-largest coal miner, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. Its total output is forecast to be over 290 million metric tons per year. By comparison, the largest coal producer in the country, China Shenhua Energy, has produced approximately 300 million metric tons of coal in each of the last five years, although this figure is gradually falling. China Shenhua Energy is the world's biggest coal company.
Despite recent efforts to develop more renewable sources of energy, China is both the world’s largest coal producer, and its number one consumer. The country consumes approximately 52% of all the coal burned worldwide - about 81.7 hexajoules annually - which dwarfs the 18.6 hexajoules consumed each year in the second largest market, India.
Unmanned train to allow Vale to reopen iron ore plant
Brazilian miner Vale SA will be able to resume operations at its Timbopeba iron ore dry processing plant in up to two months thanks to the use of an unmanned train, the company said in a statement this week.
Vale - Timbopeba iro ore plant
With the train, Timbopeba will be able to operate at least at 80% of its capacity of 33,000 tonnes of iron ore “fines” per day, reports Reuters.
Vale was forced to shut down the plant in the Alegria mine complex recently after labor authorities in Minas Gerais state banned activities close to the Xingu dam due to concerns of a risk of collapse.
Vale said access by workers and vehicles continues to be suspended in the flood zone of the dam due to the ban even though it remains at emergency level 2, which means there no imminent risk of rupture.
But some workers are allowed entry under strict security precautions and they will get the unmanned train going once it has been tested, which would take between one and two months, the company said.
The unmanned train will travel automatically along 16 kilometers (10 miles) of track operated by a system that can control the speed and activate the brakes, Vale said.
Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension
Vale has reached the milestone of first ore production at the Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project in Northern Labrador, Canada - recognised as the safest mine in Canada.