Glencore in the market for Rio Tinto’s coal mines

Reports have emerged that Glencore is in talks with Rio Tinto about the acquisition of a number of NSW coal assets.

According to the Australian Financial Review, sources close to the matter said discussions between Glencore and Rio had ramped up since X2 resources made a play for the mines in June. 

Glencore already owns a host of mines in the Hunter Valley region, with any acquisition of Rio assets expected to create substantial synergies.

In March last year Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said any joint venture would lead to better co-operation between the mining giants.

“How we’ll get and how soon we can reach an agreement, I don’t know, but it’s something that clearly makes a lot of economic sense”, he said.

“In the Hunter Valley assets there’s a lot to be done where we can get substantial synergies, so we’re talking to Rio Tinto, but it takes time for both sides to assess each other’s assets.”

In October, Rio Tinto rejected a merger deal with Glencore.

Glencore and Peabody Energy entered into an agreement last November to jointly manage Hunter Valley coal mines Wambo and United.

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.