Whitehaven Coal's shares have shot up in early trade amid market speculation that China's largest coal company, Shenhua Group, could make a takeover offer.
Whitehaven shares had climbed 15 cents, or 4.7 per cent, to $3.36 by 1040 AEDT.
Whitehaven shares have been battered in recent months due to the depressed coal price and concerns about its debt-laden largest shareholder Nathan Tinkler's 21.4 per cent stake.
Responding to speculation about Shenhua approaching Whitehaven with an offer to sell its Watermark coal assets in return for equity, the Australian miner confirmed that the two parties had held talks but said that was a routine thing.
It said that while there were some synergies with Shenhua, it had not received any proposal from the Chinese miner.
"Whitehaven has had such discussions at various times with Shenhua, because of the obvious potential synergies between the assets of each company in the Gunnedah Basin," Whitehaven said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Whitehaven has had no proposals from Shenhua to sell its assets to Whitehaven, nor has there been any proposal from Shenhua to acquire Whitehaven."
The Australian Financial Review has reported that state-owned Shenhua had approached Whitehaven about buying some of its coal assets but was told to come back with a full takeover offer.