Hogsback on BHP selling out on thermal coal

BHP IS the latest large corporate to cave in to protestor pressure and seek to abandon thermal coal despite it delivering very handsome returns to its shareholders from its Mt Arthur coal mine in New South Wales.
Hogsback on BHP selling out on thermal coal Hogsback on BHP selling out on thermal coal Hogsback on BHP selling out on thermal coal Hogsback on BHP selling out on thermal coal Hogsback on BHP selling out on thermal coal

Not only is this an affront to the dedicated employees at the Mt Arthur mine who have worked tirelessly to develop a tier one asset for BHP, it is gross hypocrisy.


BHP chief financial officer Peter Beavens singles out thermal coal as being bad for the environment and a major contributor to climate change and then in the same breath says that its thermal coal mines have delivered in spades for shareholders.


"Our energy coal is just 3% of our asset base but it is made up of two very high quality mines, which generate high margins," he said.


To add insult, Beavens goes on to say BHP will maintain its investment in its petroleum division.


The last time Hogsback checked petroleum was still a fossil fuel that continues to lead to global warming.


So why just pick on thermal coal?


BHP - the largest resources company in the world - should show some leadership and not buckle under the pressure the way a lot of Australian and international banks have over investing in coal mining projects.


Resources Minister Matt Canavan said many of those banks that had ruled out backing Adani's proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin had large positions in other coal projects.


"This seems to have been a position taken just in response to a noisy few bullies who like to trespass on other peoples' property while the quiet Australians don't have their will ... reflected in the positions of the financial sector," he told the recent Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association conference.


He is reported as saying in the Australian Financial Review that banks were "hiding behind glossy corporate documents that they seem to be trying to get some sort of credit from" on their action on climate change.


"Meanwhile they have large positions in coal mines in the Hunter Valley and Newcastle Port and they are doing very well out of those positions right now, thank you very much, because of the strength of coal markets around the world," he reportedly said.


Hogsback reckons the shareholders of BHP and banks should be protesting at their annual general meetings about the need to invest in thermal coal - not give up on it.


Not only is it providing employment and economic growth to regional Australia, royalties, and tax receipts, it is also helping to pay generous dividends to shareholders around the country.