EMR Capital Group

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EMR Capital is a Australian private equity firm specializing in investments in coal, coking coal, iron ore, potash, copper or gold projects and mining. ref
The firm was founded in 2011, and is based in Melbourne, Australia with additional offices in Sydney, Australia and George Town, Cayman Islands.ref

Woodhouse Colliery

Coal-Financing.svg Woodhouse Colliery is a proposed coal mine near Whitehaven, Cumbria. It would be the first deep coal mine in England since 1987. The coal is metallurgical-grade, used to produce steel. Cumbria County Council granted West Cumbria Mining Ltd planning permission in Mar.2019,[1] on the basis of 500 promised jobs for 50 years, with Liam Fox's blessing.[2]. The planning permission is being contested.

Jobs: The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site lies just south of Whitehaven, and has been a source of jobs since the last coal pit closed in 1986. As the plant winds down its operations, 3,000 jobs will be lost. West Cumbria Mining Ltd has not said the promised 500 jobs will be for locals. Neither has it yet applied to the Marine Management Organisation for planning permission for its offshore drilling operations, which is where most of the coal is - but has somehow promised the jobs nevertheless.

CO2 Creative Accounting: Only emissions generated on UK soil are counted when calculating the UK's 80% reduction target by 2050; mining coal here and burning it otherwhere means the CO2 is someone else's problem.[2]
Coal used in the UK and Europe displaces coal mined in the USA and shipped here; the emissions saved by not having to ship this coal halfway around the world are therefore counted as UK emissions reductions, of ~5.3m tonnes. It is estimated that the mine will emit ~380m tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime.[3]

Nuclear waste: nearby Sellafield is an enormous store of radioactive waste. Friends of the Earth are concerned that blasting and drilling at the mine could disturb the stores - and how would one know until it was far too late? EMR Capital said it has conducted "extensive evidence-based modelling work" to ensure the mining process was safe. These models are probability-based mathematical models, which are as good (or as bad) as the data they are given.

Liabilities: Due to the secretive ownership of the company, there is a grave risk that liabilities may not be met, as we may not be able to discover who the true beneficial owners are.

Transparency: Offshore secrecy has allowed politicians and public officials worldwide to hide their financial stakes in a project for which they are making policy decisions. Local Councillors unexpectedly backed this project, which has the potential to cause grave damage. It is therefore incumbent on the Council to insist on, and to provide, complete transparency about ownership from the outset.[4]

$18bn Net Profit: Mike Berners-Lee has calculated that the coking coal produced will bring in around $25 billion.[5] 3% will go on wages; ~22% on production costs; leaving ~$18 billion net profit. That money is heading directly offshore, to continue wedging the inequality gap ever wider.


It should be noted that the exporting country applies the exact same logic, meaning the emissions are double-counted around the globe.

Company

Ownership

We cannot know without paying; the Australian govt has monetarised transparency, and refuses to have an open public registry.

Structure

  • EMR Capital Group, reg. Australia Flag-Australia.svg
  • ... ... (We don't know because the Cayman Islands are a secretive tax haven, with the UK govt's blessing.)
  • EMR Capital Management Ltd, advisor to the fund.ref, reg. Cayman Islands Flag-Cayman-Islands.svg
    • EMR Capital Resources Fund 1 LP, reg. Cayman Islands Flag-Cayman-Islands.svg
      • 82.1%, EMR Capital Investment (No.3B) Pte Ltd, intermedate holdco, OC, reg. Singapore Flag-Singapore.svg
        • West Cumbria Mining (Holdings) Ltd, CH
          • West Cumbria Mining Ltd, CH

Articles

  • Mar.19.2019: New £165m coal mine in Cumbria 'unanimously approved' by councillors despite escalating climate change crisis. A new £165m coal mine has been unanimously approved by councillors in Cumbria, sparking protests by environmental campaigners. Demand and jobs 'outweighs' global warming concerns, Lib Dem committee chair says. West Cumbria Mining, which filed the application, wants to extract coking coal along the coastline between Whitehaven and St Bees in Copeland and process the fossil fuel at a plant nearby. Copeland's Conservative MP Trudy Harrison "wholeheartedly" endorsed the proposed undersea mine, touting new jobs and the "huge" investment it would bring to the area. International trade secretary Liam Fox has also given his backing to the project. Tom Embury-Dennis, The Independent.
  • Nov.16.2016: EMR Capital digs out $860m for 2nd natural resources fund in rapid capital raising return. Natural resources-focused private equity house EMR Capital has raised $860m through an oversubscribed 2nd fundraise. The Australian firm picked up much of its capital from North American LPs. The new fund is likely to adopt the same strategy as its predecessor, by targeting investments in global metals and mining companies and projects. Alt Assets.
  • Apr.24.2013: Can We Make Steel Without Coal? In this article, Jeanette Fitzsimons considers an issue with very important implications for both the coal industry and the prospects of making major greenhouse gas emissions reductions: whether, and to what extent, we can make steel without using coal. Jeanette Fitzsimons, Coal Action Network.

References

  1. ^ First deep-level coal mine in decades gets green light in Cumbria. The first new deep-level coal mine in the UK in decades has won planning permission from Cumbria County Council. Jon Yeomans, The Telegraph, Mar.19.2019.
  2. ^ a b Deep coal mine gets go ahead in Cumbria despite protests. Environmental campaigners say backing for Woodhouse colliery cannot be justified. Philip Inman, The Guardian, Mar.19.2019.
  3. ^ New £165m coal mine in Cumbria 'unanimously approved' by councillors despite escalating climate change crisis. Demand and jobs 'outweighs' global warming concerns, Lib Dem committee chair says. Tom Embury-Dennis, The Independent, Mar.19.2019.
  4. ^ Planned Cumbria coal mine ultimately owned in Cayman Islands. The company has been criticised by the Tax Justice Network. Joe Lo, Left Foot Forward, Mar.25.2019.
  5. ^ Whitehaven: The West Cumbrian Ex-Mining Community Where Coal is Making a Comeback. Sophie Yeo, DeSmogUK, Apr.24.2019.