BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has completed the previously announced sale of the Gregory Crinum coal mine in central Queensland to Japan’s Sojitz in a deal valued at A$100m ($70.9m).

A joint venture between BHP and Mitsubishi Development, BMA signed an agreement in May last year to divest the Gregory Crinum mine.

Sojitz’s acquisition of the coking coal mine is part of its initiative to rebalance its existing coal assets biased towards thermal coal due to increasing concerns about the resource’s sustainability.

The hard coking coal mine Gregory Crinum is located 60km north-east of Emerald in the Bowen Basin.

“This will provide new job opportunities and trade benefits for the people of central Queensland, as well as increased royalties and taxes to benefit the state.”

The site comprises the Crinum underground mine and Gregory open cut mine. It also consists of undeveloped coal resources and on-site infrastructure, including a coal handling and preparation plant, maintenance workshops and administration facilities.

BMA Asset president James Palmer said: “We wish Sojitz well in its plans to recommence production at Gregory Crinum. This will provide new job opportunities and trade benefits for the people of central Queensland, as well as increased royalties and taxes to benefit the state.’’

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By GlobalData

At the time when production was stopped and Gregory Crinum Mine was placed into care and maintenance in January 2016, its capacity was six million tonnes of hard coking coal a year.

A detailed review that concluded there is potential for another party to realise greater value at the mine prompted BMA to sell the mine.

Sojitz will restart operations at Gregory Crinum in the first half of this year and the first shipment of coal is set to take place in the second half.

Additionally, the company will continue with the progressive rehabilitation of the mine as per a statutory requirement.