Commodities & Metals

SinoCoking: From Cheers to Reality Check

SinoCoking Coal and Coke Chemical Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOK) is far from your normal company covered be major media, and that makes its wild share price move that much more unusual.

The company announced that has it has signed an exclusive agreement with the Institute of Process Engineering of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the North China Institute of Science and Technology to refine and implement a technology that will be used to convert the 21 million tons of coal at four SinoCoking underground mines into syngas, or synthesis gas.

Syngas is a clean burning fuel. The technology is said to accomplish conversion without releasing meaningful levels of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases above ground. The primary customers that will come from this project are local businesses and households in the Henan Province.

These mines in the Henan province have been closed for three years due to environmental concerns by the Chinese government. The company is funding the first phase of the project out of its cash reserves in the amount of $18 million. The expected completion date of this phase is February 2015 — ultimately producing 60,000 cubic meters of syngas per hour, which will create a gross profit of $30 million to $45 million in 2015.

Subsequent phases of the project are expected to be completed by the end of 2016 and will cost about $280 million. At completion, the project is expected to have an output capacity of 880,000 cubic meters of syngas per hour.

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SinoCoking was up more than 180% at $8.28 on the day, and the stock hit a 52-week high of $9.15 earlier. What stands out equally as much is the 28.5 million shares traded as of 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time — versus 291,000 on average. We would advise readers to keep in mind that this company’s market cap is barely $170 million, after the massive pop.

This is one of those situations where investors and speculators are chasing rekindled news in China from a name that had been left for dead prior to this move.