Rio Tinto approached for its remaining Australian coal mines worth A$2 bn
02 February 2017
Rio Tinto Group, the world's second-biggest mining company after BHP Billiton, has received approaches for its remaining Australian coal operations worth around A$2 billion ($1.5 billion), Bloomberg yesterday reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
The offers come just a week after it agreed to sell its thermal coal business in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, the Mount Thorley mine, its stakes in the Warkworth mine and Port Waratah Coal Services and other undeveloped coal assets to China's state-controlled Yancoal Australia for up to $2.45 billion in cash. (See: Rio Tinto to sell Coal & Allied to China's Yancoal Australia for up to $2.45 bn)
The Anglo-Australian miner is considering options for coking coal mines Hail Creek and Kestrel mines located in Queensland state's Bowen Basin, including a potential sale, the report said.
After disbanding its energy division in 2015, Rio Tinto is focusing on its iron ore, copper and aluminum operations.
Coal has become much more marginal for Rio Tinto since global prices started to decline in 2011.
Rio Tinto has now announced or completed at least $7.7 billion of divestments since 2013. These transactions include the sale of Rio Tinto's interests in the Clermont coal mine, the Bengalla coal mine and the Mount Pleasant coal project.
In addition, the restructuring of ownership of the Coal & Allied assets was completed with its joint venture partner Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd in 2016.