South Korean group LG International has signaled its intention to become “Asia’s largest coal trader” by increasing its stake in Australian export mine Ensham.

LG International, which already had a 5 per cent share in the mine, has bought a 10 per cent stake owned by Japanese utility J-Power for $50 million.

Ensham, which is 85 per cent owned by Japanese energy company Idemitsu, has a coal reserve of 200 million mt and a current production rate of around 7 million mt a year.

A company statement said “LG International’s goal is to become Asia’s largest coal trader with mine operation capabilities”.

LG International also holds stakes in mines in Indonesia, China and Canada.