Dartbrook Coal Mine Could Open Again – Anglo American Sells Up
Dartbrook Coal Mine Given Second Chance
The Anglo American Hunter Valley coal mine Dartbrook, has been shuttered since 2006, yet former boss of Whitehaven Coal, Nathan Tinkler has his sights set on breathing new life back into the underground mine.
Signalling a ray of hope for the struggling Hunter Valley coal mining communities, mining giant Anglo American has signalled its intention to sell off the non-profitable coal mine.
As Tinkler emerges back on the Queensland coal scene (as CEO of Australian Pacific Coal Limited) after a miserable and dire performance across many of his assets that were purchased because of his mining windfalls back in 2012.
Australian Pacific Coal Limited buys Dartbrook for $50 million dollars
In a recent announcement to the London Stock Exchange (3 days ago) on Christmas Eve, Anglo American confirmed to the market it was looking to sell off its 83 per cent share in the Dartbrook underground mine to Australian Pacific Coal Limited for about $50 million dollars.
The Sale and Purchase Agreement for the Hunter Valley Dartbrook would be structured around an upfront cash payment of $25 million as well as trailing coal royalties. The Dartbrook mine produces steaming coal which is the common coal used to generate electricity.
In terms of financing the mine, one of Nathan Tinkler’s old associates, Scott Winter, and his Indonesian Salim Group of companies, are looking closely at Anglo’s coal operation and even visited the coal mine in a recent tour.
Good quality steaming coal that has been produced locally in the Hunter Valley region and exported from the port of Newcastle was trading at around $US50 a tonne. Lower quality coal was fetching around $38 a tonne, which is on par with the forecast for iron ore prices.
A significant oversupply in steaming coal reserves has driven the price of this coal down to crippling lows and has pushed a host of coal producers into the red and even forced some mines to be placed up for sale.
The sale of the Dartbrook underground mine is thought to be settled by mid 2016, although the government must first give its approval before the sale can be concluded.
There are also rumours of the coal mine being redeveloped as an open cut operation, although these intentions can not be substantiated.