Australian Coal Miners See Stocks Rally on Mine Explosion

Australian coal miners are seeing their stocks rally following an explosion at a coal mine operated by Anglo American that shut down operations temporarily.

According to Morgan Stanley, the stocks have higher to go, too, Bloomberg reported, noting that the mine is one of the biggest metallurgical coal sites in Australia.

Anglo reported a fire at the Grosvenor mine in Queensland earlier this week, saying it had shut down the site, suggesting it could remain shut for several months while the company ensured re-entry into the site was safe.

The stock surge that followed this news highlights coal’s continued importance as an energy commodity amid the transition to alternative energy sources, including for metallurgical purposes.

Morgan Stanley analysts believe the incident would contribute to an upward potential do 15% for coking coal prices by the end of the year as it would accelerate a tightening of the coal market, they said in a note cited by Bloomberg.

“We see a near-term opportunity in coking or met coal, especially after the recent share price pullback,” the analysts wrote.
For Anglo American, however, the incident is a double negative because it hurt not only its production plans but also its more important plans of selling its metallurgical coal business.

The sale was part of a business dismantling plan expected to transform the company. Other points of the plan include selling or spinning off Anglo’s diamond, platinum, and nickel business units.

The Grosvenor mine produces about a fifth of the company’s annual metallurgical coal output, the FT noted in a report on the fire and the shutdown of the site earlier this week.

BHP tried to take over Anglo American earlier this year, but the target company kept rejecting the offers it was receiving as undervaluing its business until the suitor ran out of offers and gave up.

By Irina Slav for

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