‘There is, as every schoolboy knows in this scientific age, a very close chemical relation between coal and diamonds. It is the reason, I believe, why some people allude to coal as ‘black diamonds.’ Both these commodities represent wealth, but coal is a much less portable form of property.’ – Joseph Conrad, ‘Victory’.
The World of the Web has moved closer to the coal front thanks to the efforts of three Japanese vendors, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Sumitomo, who have launched a jointly operated on-line coal trading site – COALonNET.
Access to the site will be available to registered members only. A registration application can be obtained from the front page of the site (www.coalonnet.com). As a registered member, a user will be able to conduct coal transactions on the site. Several major buyers and suppliers have already registered and a number of Japanese power companies, steel companies and other buyers, are already conducting simulated transactions.
The site is currently capable of handling both conventional ‘closed’ tenders as well as ‘Best Open’ tenders (modified auctions) initiated by either the buyer or the seller.
While COALonNET will be responsible for site operation, NEC Biglobe Centre will be responsible for data management and technical support.
Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Sumitomo have numerous investments in coal mines with the majority of those in Australia, supplying coal to the steel, power and paper and pulp industries.
Total export volume traded by the three companies, including coal from their mines, amounts to approximately 62 million tonnes annually, mostly shipped to Japanese customers.