May 16, 2019 / 1:03 PM / 8 days ago

Poland to hold talks on Prairie Mining coal project dispute

WARSAW (Reuters) - Top Polish government officials will meet on Tuesday to discuss a threat by Australia’s Prairie Mining to sue Warsaw over difficulties it faced in developing two coal projects, the government said on Thursday.

Prairie Mining has said it has struggled to get permission to develop the Jan Karski and Debiensko mines and warned the Polish government it could take the case to international arbitration if it could not be resolved amicably.

The government’s economic committee (KERM), which includes the prime minister and the energy minister, will meet on Tuesday to discuss the possible arbitration case, the government said in a statement. The talks had been initially planned for last Tuesday, three sources said.

Prairie’s mining projects include coking coal as well as thermal coal. Thermal coal, used for power, is struggling to attract investment because of environmental concerns, but coking coal - which is used in steelmaking - is still viewed as a strategic mineral.

Prairie did not respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Anna Koper; Additional reporting and writing by Agnieszka Barteczko; Additional reporting by Barbara Lewis in London, editing by Deepa Babington

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