China seeks cleaner coal imports, some Australian miners hit | Reuters

SHANGHAI China will ban the import and local sale of coal with high ash and sulphur content starting from 2015 in a bid to tackle air pollution, with tough requirements in major coastal cities set to hit Australian miners.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) policy comes as prices on the GlobalCOAL Newcastle index slump to a five-year low amid a supply glut and slowing demand from China, the world's top importer.

China accounts for about a quarter of Australia's coal exports. It took 54 million tonnes of thermal coal and 30 million tonnes of metallurgical coal from Australia in 2013. All the thermal coal exceeded the new ash limit, while the metallurgical co