Government approves Japanese interest in Isaac Plains

Aquila Resources is close to selling its Isaac Plains coal mine interests after the Government confirming it has no problem with Japanese Sumitomo Corporation buying the stake.

In a statement yesterday Aquila said the Foreign Investment Review Board did not object to Sumitomo acquiring the 50 per cent $430 million interest in Isaac Plains.

Aquila said the approval "represents an important step towards completion of the sale".

The sale is now only subject to Vale not exercising its 60 day right to acquire the stake.

Earlier this year Aquila said it had resolved a legal argument between it and Vale over Isaac Plains.

Last year Vale threatened to end the 50/50 joint venture over the mine over a disagreement on whether the companies could export ore separately from the site.

Aquila says it will use the sale of the Bowen Basin asset to fund the development of a new iron ore project in WA.

Image: John Holland

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