TOKYO – JFE Steel Corporation (“JFE Steel”) will acquire a 20% interest in the Byerwen Coal project from QCoal Pty Ltd (“QCoal”), which is expected to start production in 2012 in the northern Bowen Basin of northeastern Queensland, Australia. The two also have agreed to a long-term off-take contract for JFE steel to take annual delivery of 2.0 million tons of premium hard coking coal to be delivered from the Byerwen Coal project.
The proposed open-cut mine will produce 10 million tons of premium hard coking coal per annum as one of the largest coal mines in Australia. JFE Steel expects that premium hard coking coal from the Byerwen Coal project will highly contribute to the company’s stable and efficient steel works.
The port of Abbot Point serving the Byerwen Coal project has great capacity to ensure stable, long-term shipments. Also, the geological conditions of the project are considered ideal for open-cut mining and will promote cost-competitive operations.
Amidst predictions of a decline in good-quality coking coal reserves worldwide, the acquisition will enable JFE steel to increase its ratio of captive coal resources to one of the highest among major steel makers.
JFE Steel will work with QCoal to commence project operations as soon as possible in order to secure its own stable supply of good-quality coking coal over the long term and help stabilize the world’s coking coal market.
QCoal began operating Sonoma Coal Mine in 2007, which now produces four million tons annually. JFE Steel has participated in the mine since the development stage, including the acquisition of an interest in the mine through JFE Shoji Trade Corporation.
1: Investment coordinating company
2: Investment affiliate
For further information, please contact:
Public Relations Sec., General Administration Dept.
JFE Steel Corporation