Coal booming but New Hope plans renewables and repurposing mines

Coal company New Hope said it had the ability to double its production over the next three years and claimed the world was demanding more coal, not less.

Mar 21, 2023, updated Mar 21, 2023
New Hope a reported a doubling of its interim profit. (Image supplied).

New Hope a reported a doubling of its interim profit. (Image supplied).

But the company has made a marked shift in its strategy after reporting a 103 per cent increase in its half-year net profit of $669 million. It would pay out a 30 cent interim dividend and special 10 cent dividend.

The company is now investigating solar energy at one mine site and looking to repurpose other sites when the mines reach the end of their life.

The company said that while coal prices had declined from record highs in recent months, current prices “represent a significant margin for low-cost, high quality operations like Bengalla and New Acland”.

“Coal generation as a share of the world energy mix continues to grow,” it said.

Demand was outstripping supply with future growth in south-east Asia.

It said it was studying decarbonisation for its Bengalla (NSW) and New Acland mine and “scenario testing” the impact of the Albanese Government’s safeguard mechanism, which has the impact of reducing the emissions of 200 of Australia’s biggest polluters. About 60 of those are in Queensland and many are coal mines.

New Hope said it was examining opportunities to repurpose its assets and transform the business at end of mine life.

“At Malabar, studies continue to investigate a strategy for large scale solar generation,” it said.

In relation to its capital management, New Hope said there was options for on-market buybacks, a buy-back of convertible notes and other capital returns.

Its controversial New Acland mine was expected start mining its expansion project later this financial year and the first coal shipments would occur in 2024.

Full production would occur in 2025 and total project cost was forecast to be $384 million.

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