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$100 million budgeted to buy Australian mine

‘We’re seeking to increase resource self-sufficiency through equity.’

June 06,2007
Korea Electric Power Corp., the supplier of almost all the power in Asia’s third-largest economy, is leading a group of companies holding talks to buy 10 percent of a coal mine in Australia.
The group may pay $100 million to Australia’s Felix Resources Ltd. for the Moolarben mine in New South Wales, Lee Sang-pal, general manager for energy resources at Korea Electric, told reporters yesterday in Bali, Indonesia.
Power producers are seeking coal mines to secure supplies of the fuel as prices rise after China, the world’s biggest coal producer, boosted domestic consumption.
Korea Electric imported 51.3 million metric tons of coal last year, a third of which came from Australia.
“We’re seeking to increase resource self-sufficiency through equity,” Lee said at the 13th Coaltrans Asia conference.
The Korean partners will buy the coal produced by the Moolarben mine, he said, without giving details on the volume.
Korea Electric is also in talks to buy 10 percent stakes in the Anvil Hill and Tarobora mines in Australia, Lee said.
Centennial Coal Co., Australia’s third-largest coal miner by sales, will choose three to four partners for its Anvil Hill mine project, Malcolm Clyde, general manager for strategy and development, said in an interview on Dec. 4.
The Australian coalminer may sell stakes in the $251-million project to overseas customers from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India and Europe, to help it increase exports, Managing Director Bob Cameron said Feb. 22.
The potential partners will likely sign long-term contracts of not more than 2 million tons a year each, with “relatively small” stakes, he said.
The share price of Korea Electric lost 250 won, or 0.6 percent, to 40,950 won yesterday on the Seoul stock market. Korea Electric, which has been expanding overseas as domestic power demand growth declines, announced last month that it will build five wind power plants in China.


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