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The global thermal coal industry currently amounts to around $185 billion in shareholder value from 117 producers and owners, and Asia currently accounts for 71.1% of the global coal reserves, out of a total 165 billion tonnes of thermal coal still locked in mines around the world.

Coal

Asia Accounts For 71% Of Global Thermal Coal Reserves In $185 Billion Industry

The global thermal coal industry currently amounts to around $185 billion in shareholder value from 117 producers and owners, and Asia currently accounts for 71.1% of the global coal reserves, out of a total 165 billion tonnes of thermal coal still locked in mines around the world.

The global thermal coal industry currently amounts to around $185 billion in shareholder value from 117 producers and owners, and Asia currently accounts for 71.1% of the global coal reserves, out of a total 165 billion tonnes of thermal coal still locked in mines around the world.

These are the primary findings from a new report published earlier this month by independent UK-based non-profit InfluenceMap. The report analyzes the ownership claims of the world’s known thermal coal reserves, and tracks the links between the coal reserves in coal mines, the operating coal companies, and the shareholders who own these companies.

In total, InfluenceMap found that roughly $185 in shareholder value is associated with 117 listed thermal coal producers and owners, including large public shareholder companies such as BHP Billiton, Glencore, and Berkshire Hathaway. A total of 165 billion tonnes of thermal coal is believed to be still residing in mines around the world which are controlled by 135 companies, 117 of which listed on stock exchanges.

InfluenceMap illustrates the global distribution of coal reserves below:

The report also illustrates the global distribution of the top coal shareholders who own the companies who own the thermal coal reserves. These are the 117 stock exchange-listed companies which currently hold 150 billion tonnes of the world’s coal reserves.

InfluenceMap also digs into the coal divestment of some of the world’s largest pension funds, which represent $1.4 trillion in assets under management but which have divested 50% or more of the physical thermal coal in their holdings since the end of 2011. Specifically, the world’s second largest pension fund has already shed 70% of its physical coal investments.

The remaining investors fit roughly into three categories: strategic investors in China and India such as governments, individuals, power companies, and special-purpose companies, unsurprisingly dominate the rankings due to Asia’s dominance itself; leading US asset managers Blackrock and Vanguard each own at least 400 million tonnes of thermal coal worth at least $1.5 billion each in total; and there are also a number of mid-size US and other asset managers who have actually been taking up more coal investments over the last five years in anticipation of a resurgence among some of the US coal bankruptcies and growth in Asia.

They are likely to be somewhat disappointed. Official figures in both the US and Europe show that coal production is in steady decline, and we have also seen significant moves to similarly decrease coal production and reliance in Asia in the big two — China and India.

 
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