Giant Glencore coal mine faces threat as fund refuses backing

Glencore’s plans for a giant new coal mine in Australia’s Bowen Basin may suffer a setback after key stakeholder UniSuper Management said it won’t support the project.

The A$80-billion pension fund told its investment partners that it won’t support the A$1.5-billion Valeria project as the economics “don’t stack up", chief investment officer John Pearce said in a University of Melbourne webinar Thursday night.

“Through a complicated structure, a joint venture, we actually own 15% of that coal mine,” he said. “You might think that, well 15%, how can you stop it? Well it turns out that some of the decisions require 100%, so it could be fairly problematic for those.”

Glencore declined to comment.