Rio Tinto to sell Australian coal project for $224 million


Rio Tinto's coal operations in Australia. Copyright © 2014 Rio Tinto (Picture for illustration purposes only)

Rio Tinto, the world’s second biggest mining company, said it had agreed to sell its Mount Pleasant coal assets to MACH Energy Australia Pty Ltd for US$224 million plus royalties.

With this, the company has now announced or completed US$4.7 billion of divestments since January 2013.

“With the recently announced binding agreement for the sale of Rio Tinto’s interest in the neighbouring Bengalla coal Joint Venture, this amounts to US$830 million of agreed sales,” the company said in a statement.

“These agreements for over US$800 million in asset sales deliver significant value for our shareholders, with the potential for future royalties from Mount Pleasant,” Rio Tinto Copper & Coal chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said

Mount Pleasant is a large-scale, thermal coal asset in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales with total marketable reserves of 474 million tonnes.

Hunter Valley Operations and Mount Thorley Warkworth are multi-seam, multi-pit, open-cut mining operations that produced 5.2 million tonnes of semi-soft coking coal and 19.5 million tonnes of thermal coal in 2015.

The company said the sale is subject to certain conditions precedent being met, including completion of the restructure of Coal & Allied and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016.


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