* CCX listing to split coal mining away from JV
* To become fifth EBX company on Sao Paulo exchange
* Colombia coal project has 20 years worth of reserves
By Sabrina Lorenzi
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista’s conglomerate, EBX, will list its Colombian coal mining offshoot, known as CCX, on the Sao Paulo stock exchange on May 25, the head of the newly founded company said on Tuesday.
The listing would be the fifth EBX group company listed on the BM&FBovespa exchange. Its oil company OGX, iron ore miner MMX, energy company MPX and logistics arm LLX Logstica are already established at the exchange.
The company has large certified reserves and $450 million in cash. Its creation and listing are part of EBX’s plan to separate its mining of Colombian coal from a joint venture between MPX and Germany’s E.ON.
Every MPX share entitles its owner to one share in CCX as part of the transaction.
MPX confirmed on Monday the viability of the Colombian underground coal project San Juan and estimated coal reserves there at 671.8 million tonnes. It said that would assure production of more than 25 million tonnes a year for 20 years.
The productive yearly potential of the CCX project equates to about a quarter of Colombia’s current annual output of the solid fuel. Colombia ranks fourth worldwide among coal producing nations.
Coal resources at the site are estimated at 5.2 billion tonnes.
“San Juan’s resources are among the five biggest for mineral coal in the world,” CCX Director-President Leonardo Moretzsohn said in a teleconference with journalists.
About 10 million tonnes a year of the produced coal will be burned in MPX’s thermoelectric power plants, while a larger share of the mine’s output will be exported.
The project will have its own dedicated logistics system and is awaiting the issue of an environmental license before beginning construction of the mine, railway and port in 2013. Production is expected to start in 2017.
San Juan’s coal resources are based on the 10 million hectares of the 67-million hectare concession that have been scoured so far but could rise when more research is done.
“Of the total certified as reserves, more than 92 percent is extremely high quality, which should mean a price differential on the market of at least 30 percent,” Moretzsohn said.
As well as the underground project, CCX will also develop two open pit mines, Canaverales and Papayal, which together should produce up to 5 million tonnes a year.
EBX’s business interests in Colombia go beyond coal. It is exploring gold deposits held by its subsidiary AUX and owns oil blocks, which its oil company OGX will soon begin drilling, Moretzsohn said. (Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)