As I have been saying for sometime 2012 is the year to build your Coal assets, and it seems Warren Buffet agrees.

In 2011, China's coal imports reached 182 million mt, rising by 10.8 percent year on year, according to the figures released by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Meanwhile, China's coal exports in 2011 came to 14.66 million mt, down 23 percent compared to the previous year. Accordingly, in the given year China recorded a net coal import volume of 168 million mt, increasing by 15.2 percent year on year.

In 2011, consumption of coal by China's three main coal consuming sectors, i.e., thermal power, steelmaking and cement, was up by 13.9 percent, 9.8 percent and 17.2 percent respectively, resulting in a strong increase in domestic demand for coal.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe NYSE:BNI, the railroad controlled by Warren Buffett, plans $3.9 billion in capital spending this year, an increase of 11 percent from 2011, as the company boosts capacity for coal shipments.

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Shayne Heffernan

Shayne Heffernan oversees the management of funds for institutions and high net worth individuals.

Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.