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Anglo’s Coal Retreat May Boost South African Fossil-Fuel Output

  • Spinoff Thungela sees opportunities to develop coal resources
  • Thungela now houses Anglo’s South African thermal coal mines
July Ndlovu in Johannesburg on June 8.
July Ndlovu in Johannesburg on June 8.Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Under pressure from investors and environmentalists, Anglo American Plc exited its South African coal business this week, but the spinoff could have an unforeseen outcome: higher output of the most polluting fuel.

Anglo’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani said it was a “responsible transition” from thermal coal, but July Ndlovu, the head of spinoff Thungela Resources Ltd., has a different perspective. Ndlovu wants South Africa’s biggest coal exporter, which began trading in Johannesburg and London on Monday, to develop new resources and buy rivals.