Linc Energy acquires Blair Athol coal mine, 100 mining jobs created

Linc Energy has acquired Rio Tinto's Blair Athol coal mine.

It comes after speculation this morning that the coal gas company would be purchasing the shut down coal operation.

According to Linc Energy there will be no upfront cost for the acquisition, which will be through Linc's subsidiary New Emerald Coal. 

This includes the mining tenure, on-site assets, and infrastructure.

Under the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) Rio will make a contribution to New Emerald's current anticipated statutory site rehabilitation obligations, which will start in 2016 and run until 2019.

"There is a provision for commercial agreements to be put in place that give New Emerald Coal access to train-loading capacity, workforce accommodation and port and rail capacity to Abbot Point," Linc said in a statement.

"Completion of the acquisition is conditional upon finalisation of these agreements together with satisfaction of relevant approvals and other customary conditions."

It expects the acquisition to become unconditional within six months and mining to restart soon after.

"New Emerald Coal will reopen the mine with a view to produce up to 3 million tonnes of thermal coal per year," it added.

Michael Mapp, Linc Energy's head of coal, said the buy will provide production capacity to New Emerald and add value as Linc strengthens its coal portfolio.

"The Blair Athol coal mine offers a unique opportunity to New Emerald Coal by adding an established asset with minimal efforts and costs to restart the mine," Mapp said.

"New Emerald will re-open the mine once tenure has been transferred, creating over 100 jobs at the mine site near Clermont, in Central Queensland."

Mapp added that it would look to source workers locally.

Linc explained that it made the acquisition to build new Emerald as a stand alone company, which it will soon exit.

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