South Africa's largest coal mining firm Exxaro Resources will no longer invest in thermal coal assets, its chief executive Mxolisi Mgojo said this week.
"We are not investing more in thermal coal," Mgojo said during a virtual panel on environmental, social and governance (ESG) at the African Mining Indaba conference.
Exxaro will continue to supply the Matimba and Medupi coal-fired power plants for as long as these installations are part of South Africa's mix, Mgojo said.
"A big concern [when] disposing of one's coal assets [is that] they may land in the hands of parties who may not want to act responsibly in terms of how they treat the environment and other aspects of ESG," said Mgojo. "
So for now, we will hold on to our existing coal assets, but we will not be building any new ones."
Last year, Exxaro acquired the remaining 50pc of its renewable energy investment in South African independent power producer Cennergi. At the time, the firm said that the acquisition was aligned to its response to "increasing negative sentiment towards coal-based electricity generation".
As part of its response to climate change, the firm aims to reduce its coal resources by 22pc and has committed to being carbon neutral by 2050.
Exxaro produced 44.9mn t of thermal coal in 2020, its most recent guidance shows.
This article is reproduced at www.argusmedia.com