Rio Tinto to sell Mount Pleasant thermal coal assets in Australia

26 January 2016 (Last Updated January 26th, 2016 18:30)

Mining major Rio Tinto has signed an agreement for the sale of its Mount Pleasant thermal coal assets in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales to Mach Energy Australia in a transaction worth $224m.

Bengalla

Mining major Rio Tinto has signed an agreement for the sale of its Mount Pleasant thermal coal assets in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales to Mach Energy Australia in a transaction worth $224m.

The latest move follows the company's announcement made in September 2015 regarding the sale of its 40% interest in the Bengalla coal joint-venture in Australia to New Hope for $606m, and brings the total divestment amount to $830m.

Rio Tinto copper and coal chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said: "These agreements for over $800m in asset sales deliver significant value for our shareholders, with the potential for future royalties from Mount Pleasant.

"We believe Mount Pleasant can have a very positive future under its new owners with different priorities for development and capital allocation."

"We believe Mount Pleasant can have a very positive future under its new owners with different priorities for development and capital allocation."

In total, the company has now announced or completed $4.7bn of divestments since January 2013.

Mount Pleasant has total marketable reserves of 474 million tonnes. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016.

The Mount Pleasant project is 100% owned by Coal & Allied, and is located adjacent to the Bengalla mine, 4km from the town of Muswellbrook.

In 1992, Coal & Allied obtained an authority over the deposit and completed exploration, mining studies and an environmental impact statement (EIS) in 1997 with development consent granted in 1999.

Rio Tinto's Coal and Allied's operations in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia are Mount Thorley Warkworth, Hunter Valley Operations, and Bengalla.


Image: Rio Tinto's Bengalla coal mine in Australia Photo: Copyright © 2014 Rio Tinto.