BMA may sell Gregory Crinum coal mine

BMA is looking to sell off its closed Gregory coal mine and the underground Crinum longwall mine.

The miner closed the Gregory operation late last year, stating at the time that it was no longer profitable, however it continuted work at the Crinum mine.

Workers were reportedly told today that the operation could be up for sale.

The move was confirmed by joint venture partner in BMA, BHP Billiton.

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".

Prior to the shutdown it said the "decision follows a continuing operational review of the Gregory Crinum operations, which determined that the Gregory open-cut mine production was no longer profitable in the current economic environment of falling prices, high costs and a strong Australian dollar".

BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance's (BMA) asset president Stephen Dumble explained at the time that production costs for the Gregory open cut operation exceeded revenue from its sales and "therefore the only option available to the company was to cease production".



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