Glencore and Peabody to merge Hunter Valley coal mines

Glencore and Peabody Energy have agreed to jointly manage the nearby Wambo and United coal mines in the Hunter Valley, the first joint venture of its kind in the region.

The 50-50 joint venture will combine Wambo's open cut mining operations with United's adjacent reserves and is expected to kick off in 2017.

Glencore will manage the combined mining operations and Peabody will continue to operate coal washing and loading facilities.

In a statement released today, Peabody said the JV will deliver significant synergies by improving productivity, cutting costs and extending the life of both mines.

 "Peabody continues to take positive steps to further reduce costs, improve our competitive position and create value," said Peabody Energy president and chief operating officer Glenn Kellow.

Kellow said the combined operation will provide ongoing local employment opportunities and economic contribution.

With coal prices expected to remain lacklustre moving into 2015, some industry analyst predict it will become more common for miners to pool their resources in this way.

In Queensland, Peabody’s Millenium mine entered into an agreement to share infrastructure with to BHP Mitsui Coal’s Poitrel project through the Red Mountain joint venture.

Image: peabodyenergy.com

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