TOKYO, March 22 Japanese trading company
Mitsubishi Corp may sell stakes in Australia thermal
coal mines as it presses on with a switch to core assets such as
coking coal after slumping to its first-ever annual loss last
year, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
The Nikkei business daily reported earlier on Wednesday that
Mitsubishi is looking to unload its 31.4 percent stake in the
Clermont mine, and may also sell stake in the Hunter Valley
operation. The firm plans to raise its stake in Canada's Montney
shale gas field, the paper said, buying more shares from partner
Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.
"We are considering all options including selling a stake in
the Clermont coal mine and we have hired Rothschild as financial
advisor for the deal," a spokesman said. The spokesman didn't
say how much of the mine it might sell, nor how much it might
seek for it.
Mitsubishi is also considering whether or not to sell its
32.4 percent stake in Hunter Valley thermal coal mine in
Australia after its partner Rio Tinto decided
to sell its Australian coal assets to China's Yancoal, the
After a commodity slump squeezed Mitsubishi into losses in
the year ended March 2016, it has been reshuffling its natural
resources portfolio to focus on three core assets: coking coal,
copper, and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The Tokyo-based company is also considering a sale of its
50.1 percent stake in South Africa's chrome ore company Hernic
Ferrochrome, according to the industry sources.
Mitsubishi's reshaping of its portfolio comes as other
Japanese trading houses move to cut or freeze thermal coal
investments, citing the impact of environmental concerns after
the U.N. climate agreement in Paris in 2015.
Mitsui & Co said last year that it plans to cut its
exposure to coal by a third within three years, while Sojitz
said it will limit investments in coal.
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)