Anglo to decide fate of SA export coal mines this year, says CEO Mark Cutifani

ANGLO American will decide this year whether to sell its South African thermal coal business, said Reuters citing the group’s CEO, Mark Cutifani.

Anglo American and other mining companies have come under growing pressure to reduce their exposure to coal because of concern over climate change, said Reuters.

South32 has agreed to sell its South African thermal coal operation to Seriti Resources, subject to regulatory approval.

“I expect we will take a view this year,” said Cutifani. “But we will consult with our key stakeholders before we do that.” Cutifani was commenting in an interview on the sidelines of the African Mining Indaba industry conference in Cape Town.

In 2017, the company sold its domestic thermal coal mines – New Vaal, New Denmark and Kriel – to a consortium led by Seriti Resources for R2.3bn. It later sold New Largo, a thermal coal project critical for the supply of coal to Eskom’s Kusile power station, for about R750m.

Anglo American has said that selling its export mines will require “a just transition” as employees and communities were concerned regarding the future of the operations.

South Africa’s government is still generally supportive of its coal sector as the majority of electricity production is from coal-fired power stations, whilst the country still has abundant supplies of the fuel in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces.