Posts Tagged ‘Walter Energy’

Mining Week 20/’12: Commodity outlook and potential US coal takeover

May 13, 2012 Comments off

Top Stories of the Week:

  • Glencore and Rio Tinto fuel commodities outlook discussion
    • Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg joined his collegue at Noble group and Rio Tinto’s CEO Tom Albanese in stressing that there are no clear signs of a slowdown of Chinese commodities demand.
    • Glasenberg stressed that inventory levels for many commodities are relatively low at the moment, contrary to the belief that increasing inventories should cause a drop of commodity prices somewhere in the next year.
    • Sources: Financial Times; FT Video on Noble outlook; The Australian

  • BHP Billiton rumoured to prepare bid for coal miner
  • ArcelorMittal – Macarthur

Trends & Implications:

  • A potential new takeover by BHP Billiton might be a good moment for BHP to announce writedowns on its acquisitions in the natural gas space. The acquisition of Petrohawk from Chesapeake last year is said to require a significant writedow as gas prices don’t seem to recover. Timing the market and combining the ‘exciting’ news of a takeover in the coal industry might partly overshadow the news of the writedown on the gas assets.
  • The decrease of annual growth of the Chinese economy to single digit numbers is expected to impact construction and manufacturing activity in the short term, but the underlying outlook for the longer term continues to be a shortage of supply. Experts struggle to relate the overall economic growth numbers to short-term growth of construction sector, which drives most of the commodities demand.

©2012 | Wilfred Visser |

Consolidation in coal mining as steel industry heats up

November 22, 2010 1 comment

“Vallar, the cash shell founded by financier Nat Rothschild, is paying $3bn to create a mining company that will see Indonesia’s powerful Bakrie family debut with a London listing for their interests.

A new company bundling together the assets of two Indonesian groups and the shares of Vallar will be listed in London as Bumi Plc. Shares in Vallar, which raised £700m ($1.1bn) in a public flotation in July, will be suspended.”

Source: Financial Times, November 16 2010

“Walter Energy Inc. is in talks to buy Canadian rival Western Coal Corp. for $3.24 billion to form a steelmaking-coal giant, the latest in a string of deals in the commodity sector as mining companies race to corner reserves ahead of rivals.

If the deal goes through, the combined company would have more than 20 million tons of annual coal-production capacity by the end of 2013 and would be the world’s largest publicly traded ‘pure-play’ metallurgical coal producer…

Massey Energy Co. is exploring a takeover offer from Alpha Natural Resources Inc., the biggest U.S. metallurgical coal producer. Global steelmaker ArcelorMittal is also interested in Massey.”

Source: Wall Street Journal, November 19 2010


  • Vallar, a new mining company listed on the London Stock Exchange in June, will combine the coal mining assets of Bumi and Berau, the largest and fifth-largest coal miners of Indonesia, to create the largest exporter of coking coal to China.
  • North American coking (or metallurgical) coal producers are exploring mergers or partnerships to create a player that can export both to the east and the west.


  • So far coal is one of the resource businesses that is least consolidated. Very few players are able of supplying coal around the world. The moves in North America and Indonesia indicate a trend to create larger suppliers in order to have a better negotiation position for contracts with steel makers.
  • Vallar is planning to use the Indonesian operations as a platform for further expansion in Indonesia and abroad. When listed the company mentioned it would be able to focus principally on regions and commodities where it could leverage the extensive network and strong prior operating and investment experience. As James Campbell, one of the founders, is a former executive of Anglo Coal, the move into coal mining does not come as a surprise.

©2010 | Wilfred Visser |