Glencore and the Bloomfield Group are set to acquire Vale’s Integra coal complex in the Hunter Valley.
The binding agreement will see Bloomfield acquire the Integra open cut mine together with the wash plant and rail loop facilities, while Glencore will acquire the Integra underground operations.
The Integra coal mine complex, located near Singleton in the NSW Hunter Valley, was put into care and maintenance by Vale in May 2014. 500 people lost their jobs as a result of the closure.
The underground operation will be renamed “Rix’s Creek North” and would run as a bolt on to Bloomfield’s Rix’s Creek business, which lies adjacent to the south.
“This is a logical and unique opportunity that would strengthen our ability to operate over the long term,” said John Richards, managing director of Bloomfield.
“The deal would breathe new life into the Integra open-cut site and will sustain local employment.”
“Combining Integra open cut into our Rix’s Creek operations can deliver synergies in administration and overall operations. We would envisage spending the remainder of 2015 working through a number of issues before mining at Integra open cut can resume on a modest scale.”
The Integra underground lease lies immediately to the south of Glencore’s Mt Owen open cut coal mine.
Head of Glencore’s Australian Coal operations, Ian Cribb said there are no immediate plans to reopen the underground operation.
“While the Integra underground had been a profitable semi-hard coking coal mine in the past, it was placed on care and maintenance in 2014 and Glencore has no plans to restart the operation in the near term,” Cribb aid.
“We intend to evaluate a number of options for the Integra underground mine in the months ahead.”