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August 17, 2021

Japan’s Sumitomo to sell stake in Rolleston coal mine to Glencore

Upon completion of the deal, Glencore will have a 100% interest in the open-pit coal mine.

Japanese trading firm Sumitomo has agreed to divest its stake in the Rolleston coal mine in Queensland, Australia, to its partner Anglo-Swiss commodity firm Glencore for an undisclosed sum.

Under the agreement, Sumitomo’s subsidiary Sumisho Coal Australia will sell its 12.5% stake in the mine to a Glencore subsidiary.

In June 2021, Glencore acquired a 12.5% stake in the Rolleston open-cut mine from its partner ICRA Rolleston, increasing its stake to 87.5%. The remaining 12.5% stake in the project is held by Sumisho Coal Australia.

Upon completion of the latest deal, Glencore will have a 100% interest in the mine, which is located 16km west of Rolleston township and 140km south-east of Emerald in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

The sale is part of Sumitomo’s policy to address climate change.

In May 2021, Sumitomo revised its climate change policy, which included the 2030 goal to reduce its thermal coal output to zero.

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Sumitomo also holds a 37.13% stake in the Clermont mine in Australia.

The firm, however, intends to retain this interest as the operational life of the mine is scheduled to end by 2030, Reuters reported citing a company spokesperson.

Separately, Sumitomo Metal Mining has demonstrated its technology’s ability to recycle nickel and cobalt from rechargeable batteries that can be reused as raw materials for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).

Following optimising processes at its pilot plant, the firm recovered a high-purity nickel-cobalt mixture by separating out the impurities in used secondary batteries, as well as manufactured and evaluated LIB cathode material using the nickel-cobalt mixture.

In a press statement, the firm said: “We were able to verify that the performance of those batteries was equivalent to that of batteries manufactured using existing raw materials derived from natural resources.

“Through the integration of this world-first original technology into our processes, we have established a new recycling process that is able to recycle copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium from used secondary batteries.”

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