Can the "wonder material" of the 21st century be derived from coal? According to scientists at Rice University, the answer is yes.
Last week, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, told the World Coal Association's International Coal & Climate Summit that the coal industry that it must "change rapidly and dramatically." Thus far, the response from coal industry members has been positive.
Queensland's government is thinking of offering incentives such as lower state royalties and port access to coal companies operating in the Galilee Basin, but environmental groups and miners alike believe it is a bad idea.
Wood Mackenzie believes that by 2020, coal will take oil's place as the most dominant source of fuel in the world.
Bloomberg reported that as a result of declining coal prices, Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE:BTU) plans to cease production at its Queensland-based Wilkie Creek thermal coal mine by the end of the year.
Bloomberg reported that this week, Kenya plans to sign a concession accord with China's Fenxi Mining Industry Co. to develop a deposit containing 400 million metric tons of coal. The move will allow the country to tender 31 more blocks spread across counties in both the north and south of the nation.
Reuters reported that Vale SA (NYSE:VALE) intends to sell a 15- to 25-percent stake in its coal operations as it works to bring in funding, cut capital commitments and help mitigate risk. The company has already seen interest from potential partners.
Bloomberg reported that Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore Xstrata plc (LSE:GLEN), is pushing his company to invest more in thermal coal than its three closest competitors, namely BHP Billiton Ltd. (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT), Anglo American plc (LSE:AAL) and Rio Tinto plc (ASX:RIO,NYSE:RIO,LSE:RIO).
Saturn Minerals Inc. (TSXV:SMI) Director Stefan Szary spoke with Resource Investing News about his company's coal, oil and gas assets in Saskatchewan. Mr. Szary said that investors should consider Saturn Minerals because "we have one of the largest coal seams in Canada: 89 meters, shallow, right by a rail, and in the course of that, we have oil and gas seeps and 1500 square kilometres of oil and gas rights as well, in the Williston Basis."
At the 2013 Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, Carl Kottmeier, Project Manager for Fortune Minerals (TSX:FT) Arctos Anthracite Project, took some time to speak with INN Editor Vivien Diniz.
Bloomberg reported that as coal exports from Australia to Colombia increase, a rally that has lifted prices for the fuel will come to an end. As a result, the coal surplus will increase by 20 percent, to 6 million metric tons, in 2014, according to Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS).
The Guardian reported that Milton Catelin, president of the World Coal Association, has responded to a speech made by Christiana Figueres at the International Coal & Climate Summit by saying that she is missing "some of the fundamentals about the energy sector."
Mineweb reported that attendees of the Coaltrans Mozambique conference were told that the country's major coal producers, such as Rio Tinto plc (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) and Vale SA (NYSE:VALE), need to decrease their logistics costs in order to become profitable.
The Globe and Mail reported that Japan's coal use has increased as it "tries to lower the cost of replacing nuclear energy," with the result being that its 10 main utilities used almost 16 percent more coal in the first 10 months of 2013 than they did in the year-ago period. Further, they increased their imports of the fuel by 11 percent.