Marubeni Corp, Sojitz Corp, JFE Shoji Trade Corp and Nippon Steel Trading Co have concluded a contract to acquire a 19.7% stake in the Codrilla coal deposit located 150 kms southwest of Dalrymple Bay Port in Queensland, Australia, from Macarthur Coal and CITIC Resources.

The four Japanese firms as well as Macarthur Coal and CITIC Resources are the business partners of Coppabella & Moorvale joint venture (CMJV), which is adjacent to the Codrilla deposit and it is planned to be developed as the new mine lot.

The Codrilla deposit is expected to produce low volatile pulverized coal injection (PCI) product and is planned to begin production in 2013.

According to the companies, the demand for PCI coal, a metallurgical coal used as a steel-making material, increases in Asian market including Japan and Korea, and also in Europe and Brazil.

Marubeni, Sojitz, JFE Shoji and Nippon Steel Trading are committed to establishing systems to ensure stable supplies in the coal business through CMJV, the companies said.