Buoyant coal price sets stage for two listings

BRISBANE-based Macarthur Coal has launched an initial public offering (IPO) of 39 million $1.00 shares, effectively 30.4% of the company’s Bowen Basin coal assets. Glencore Coal is meanwhile reportedly preparing for its $2 billion IPO by the third quarter this year.

Staff Reporter

Macarthur Coal’s main assets are its 2.5Mt Coppabella mine, producing coal for the pulverised coal injection technology markets (PCI).

Coppabella is currently ramping up to capacity of 4.2Mt, with sales forecast to grow to 3.6Mt in 2000-2001 before hitting 4.2Mt in 2001-2002. Macarthur’s development project, Moorvale (75% owned) is expected to produce 1.6Mtpa from 2003.

Chief executive Ken Talbot will retain a 49.2% in Macarthur, with China International Trust & Investment Corp. (CITIC) holding 13.9% and American Metals & Coal International (AMCI) with 6.5%.

Hard coking coal is currently selling at close to US$45 a metric ton, up almost 30% from around US$35/t at the start of 2000. Thermal coal is up around US$34/ton from around US$20/t 18 months ago.

Other media reports have meanwhile pointed to a $2 billion listing by Glencore later this year, with Glencore set to retain a 30%-40% interest. Believed to be included in the deal are the South African and Australian assets, which total 26 mines. Reports indicate Glencore produced 38 million metric tons of thermal and coking coal in 2000.

It appears that Glencore’s South American assets are not to be included in the listing.

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