BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), a joint venture (JV) between BHP and Mitsubishi Development, has reached an agreement to divest the Gregory Crinum mine in central Queensland, Australia to Japan’s Sojitz for A$100m ($75.19m).

Located 60km north east of Emerald in the Bowen Basin, Gregory Crinum had the capacity to produce six million tonnes of hard coking coal per annum when production ceased two years ago.

The project area comprises the Crinum underground mine, Gregory open cut mine and undeveloped coal resources.

“This will provide further employment in Emerald, and additional royalties and taxes to the people of Queensland.”

Other infrastructure at the site includes a coal handling and preparation plant, maintenance workshops and administration facilities.

The JV partners placed the mine into care and maintenance in January 2016.

BMA asset president Rag Udd said: “This is a great outcome for the parties to the transaction and for the region. This will provide further employment in Emerald, and additional royalties and taxes to the people of Queensland.”

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The decision to offload the mine comes after the partners conducted a detailed review that concluded transferring it to another owner could help generate greater value at the mine.

Queensland Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham noted that the prospect of reopening the mine will bring around 300 jobs and business opportunities to the region.

Lynham said: “This is great news for the Central Highlands, where Sojitz is already a significant employer as the owner and operator of nearby Minerva Mine and more recently commenced operations at Meteor Downs.

“This is a reflection of Queensland premium coking coal prices, now at more than $A240 ($180.47) compared to A$115 ($86.47) two years ago, as well as confidence in Queensland as a resources investment destination.”

As part of the deal, BMA has also agreed to fund costs related to the rehabilitation of existing areas of disturbance at the site.