Thailand's largest coal miner Banpu Pcl has offered to buy the remaining 87.6-per cent shares it does not already own in Mongolia-focused Australian coal explorer Hunnu Coal, for A$423 million ($443 million) in order to get a foothold in Mongolia's abundant coal reserves.
The deal is the latest acquisition of Banpu, after it acquired Australia's Centennial Coal for $2 billion last year.
Bangkok-based Banpu, which currently owns 12.4 per cent of Hunnu Coal, is offering A$1.80 cash for each share, a premium of 30 per cent to Hunnu's closing price of A$1.385 on 8 September.
Perth-based Hunnu owns or has stakes in 11 high quality coal coking and thermal coal projects in resource-rich Gobi desert, including in the coveted Tavan Tolgoi region in the South Gobi and Middle Gobi Coal Provinces having combined JORC resource of over 843 million tonnes.
Hunnu, which received the mining licence in July for Tsant Uul project, is to begin mining as early as next year. Located next to the Tavan Tolgoi coking coal deposit, Tsant Uul is expected to produce around 1.5 million tonnes of coal a year.
Hunnu also holds stakes in two other coal projects, Altai Nuurs and Unst Khudag, which is expected to start operations in the next 2-3 years.