BHP Billiton has announced the sale of its Pinto Valley operation.
The miner has signed definitive agreements with Capstone Mining to sell them Pinto Valley as well as the associated San Manuel Arizona Railroad company for a total of US$ 650 million.
Under the agreement Capstone will also assume all of BHP's environmental liabilities at the site.
As part of the transaction all employees currently working at the operation will now become Capstone employees.
Peter Beaven, BHP's head of copper, explained that "the sale of Pinto Valley is an excellent outcome for BHP shareholders; it is consistnent with our strategy and it takes the transaction value of divestments announced over the last 12 months to US$ 5 billion.
BHP is also currently looking at selling off some of its Australian assets as part of a global cost reduction measure.
A BHP spokesperson told Australian Mining that the miner is "looking at the potential divestment of the Gregory Crinum mine," adding that it is also considering extending the Crinum operations.
In an official statement, BHP confirmed that it is investigating potential divestment of the Gregory Crinum Mine Complex, located near Emerald in Central Queensland.
"In addition to divestment, the Company is assessing options for the Gregory Crinum Complex to further extend the operation’s life."
However they stressed that no decision has been made as of yet.
"Any decision to proceed with divestment, or otherwise, is unlikely for six to nine months and will depend on market interest and other commercial factors."
It went on to state that it "will regularly engage with its employees and their representatives as well as key stakeholders should the divestment process proceed further," adding that "BHP Billiton Metallurgical Coal will continue to review its portfolio of assets to ensure alignment with the Company’s strategy".