Private equity lines up for coal ‘bonanza’ left by public miners

4th January 2022

By: Bloomberg


Font size: - +

Private equity firms are lining up to take on the dirty -- and highly profitable -- assets being divested by publicly traded commodity producers as the world grapples to decarbonize.

In the latest example, private equity accounted for most of the 30 so-called western candidates that signed non-disclosure agreements in the sale of Vale’s Mozambique coal business, according to Luciano Siani Pires, head of strategy and business transformation at Rio de Janeiro-based Vale.

While Indian steel and power group Jindal eventually picked up those assets, the level of interest from private firms underscores the bright outlook for coal mines that have become toxic for listed companies amid the shift toward environmental, social and governance investing, Siani wrote in a LinkedIn post.

To be sure, much of the interest in Vale’s Mozambique assets may have been driven by metallurgical coal, which has a far less bleak longer-term outlook than the thermal variety. Still, as major producers like Vale, Anglo American and BHP Group exit fossil fuels, private equity is betting the green transition will take longer than expected, with coal and oil prices threatening to stay high in the coming years due to a lack of investment in new capacity.

“The ensuing combination of high commodity prices and low acquisition costs for unwelcome assets may provide these firms the bonanza of a lifetime,” Siani said.

Edited by Bloomberg


The content you are trying to access is only available to subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, you can Login Here.

If you are not a subscriber, you can subscribe now, by selecting one of the below options.

For more information or assistance, please contact us at

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?