Anglo American sells Dartbrook to Nathan Tinkler

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Anglo American has sold its Dartbrook coal mine to Australian Pacific Coal, uneviling the deal on Christmas Eve.

APC agreed, late last year, to purchase Anglo American’s 83.33 per cent stake in the Dartbrook operation for approximately $50 million, comprising a cash payment of $25 million and royalty agreement equal to $3 per tonne of coal produced by the operation, and $0.25 for each tonne of coal sourced from other operations but processed at Dartbrook.

“The transaction remains subject to several conditions precedent, including the waiver of pre-emption rights by Anglo American's joint venture partner, Marubeni Coal Pty Ltd ("Marubeni") and the receipt of local and federal government consents for the transfer of the mining and exploration rights related to the operation,” Anglo American stated.

The sale is expected to be completed by the middle of the year.

However, the recent purchase has set the market tongues wagging, with rumours emerging that Australian Pacific Coal may use the purchase as a jumping off point to acquire Rio Tinto’s Mount Pleasant coal project.

According to the Newcastle Herald, the agreement regarding coal mined elsewhere but processed at Dartbrook highlighted the potential for Mt Pleasant to become a target, as it sits just to the south east of Dartbrook.

However, APC was quick to quash these rumours, with a company spokesperson stating that speculation is moving well ahead of reality.

“The outside mine royalty clause is standard industry practice and it would be wrong to read too much into its inclusion in the agreement especially given the characteristics of the contracting parties,” the spokesperson told the Herald.