Unlike thermal coal, coking coal will be required for the next 20 years to produce steel that will be used to decarbonise the global economy, according to Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani. However, the firm will phase it out over this period.
Asked about Anglo American’s coal investment plans in light of its South African and Colombian thermal coal mine divestments, Cutifani said it is important to distinguish between thermal and metallurgical coal.
The former “was always going to find it hard to compete against oil & gas” in the energy space. But “met coal – we have high quality and the world needs met coal to produce steel, and the world needs steel to decarbonise our economies, so anybody who talks about getting rid of met coal in the next 10-15 years is really, I guess, on a different planet,” he said during Bank of America’s Global Metals, Mining & Steel Conference this week.
“We need met coal to decarbonise the planet and over the next 15-20 years it will progressively be taken out of the supply chain and so our resources will last till about 2035-2040,” he added at the event monitored by Kallanish. “We won’t go building or growing the business beyond that period.”
“We don’t have a new mine on the drawing board … We’re not going to be a significant producer beyond 2035-2040,” he concluded.
Adam Smith Germany