Coal of Africa's Mooiplaats plant. Picture: Supplied

Johannesburg - Hong Kong-based Haohua Energy International (HEI) yesterday announced its intention to increase its stake at the South African-based coal mining company, Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL), by investing $5 million (R83m).

Haohua Energy is the largest shareholder in Coal of Africa, holding a 24 percent stake in the company as of November. But CoAL poured cold water over the potential Chinese investment, issuing a statement saying it noted the intention, but a string of approvals would need to be secured before any such deal could be completed.

“At this time, discussions remain incomplete, and no binding agreements have been entered into,” said CoAL. CoAL is a JSE-listed mining company operating in South Africa but is registered in Australia.

“Any subscription by HEI would be subject to inter-alia CoAL shareholder approval and be conditional on HEI having received any necessary regulatory approvals within the People’s Republic of China and approval for the issue of the subscription shares from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board,” said CoAL.