Anglo American pulls out of Abbot Point coal expansion

Anglo American has pulled out of plans to fund the expansion of Abbot Point coal terminal as depressed coal prices continue to tighten company spend.

Rio Tinto and BHP have previously confirmed they would not need the extra capacity that would be available as part of the north Queensland port expansion, with Anglo following suit last week.

“Anglo American notified the Queensland government of its intention to withdraw from the AP-X coal terminal development project at Abbot Point and has ceased to be actively involved," a spokeswoman said.

The decision by Anglo comes on the back of the postponement of mine expansions, including Moranabh South, due to low coal prices.

In company’s December 2013 results, metallurgical coal saw underlying operating profit fall 89% to $46m, while thermal coal profits fell 32% to $541m as a result of lower realised prices.

The $6.2 billion expansion of the coal port would see four additional coal terminals built; which would provide an extra annual capacity of 120 million tonnes and would support the development of mines in the Bowen, Surat, and Galilee Basins.

Adani and GVK Hancock still hold the development rights for port’s Terminal 0 and Terminal 3 respectively, with the miners planning massive coal mines in the Galilee Basin.

North Queensland Bulk Ports said it would continue to review how to “best cater for staged and timely incremental expansion of port and terminal capacity”.

“The advancement of the site is fundamental in catering for future incremental coal export growth at Abbot Point,” the company said.

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