Coal “’ China seeks
mines in SA
Tianjin, China — MININGREVIEW.COM — 18 November 2010 – China’s third-largest state-owned producer, Datong Coal Mine Group, is seeking coal mines in South Africa and other selected countries, and plans to invest ‘tens of billions’ in the new energy sector as part of its five-year development plan.

President Wu Yongping of Datong “’ the parent of the Shanghai-listed Datong Coal Industry Company Limited “’ commented: “We are mainly looking at partnerships in these overseas ventures, but we won’t rule out developing any mines on our own.”

Wu told Reuters on the sidelines of a mining conference here that Datong was exploring opportunities in countries such as South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, and Russia, but added that in Australia the firm would rather team up with an existing player than start a large greenfield project due to a lack of infrastructure.

“Labour costs are high in Australia. The lack of railroads and ports in these greenfield mines means the capital investment and operational costs for running such mines will be very high,” Wu said.

He went on to reveal that Datong wanted to branch out into clean energy production, such as solar cells, poly-silicon and batteries, as part of larger plans to tap into the country’s growing demand. Wu said Datong Group planned to make major investments in the new energy sector as part of its efforts to diversify its portfolio.