Rio Tinto in talks to sell off Blair Athol coal mine

Rio Tinto is reportedly in talks with Linc Energy in the continued sell off of its Blair Athol coal mine.

It’s part of Rio Tinto’s wider strategy to divest a number of its coal assets as the commodity price falls.

Blair Athol, along with stakes in Rio’s Clermont mine and its Coal & Allied Holdings were all put on the table in April this year.

It came after the miner shut down the BlairAthol operation in November last year, after years of mining, although it’s CHPP continued to process coal from the nearby, newer Clermont mine.

Now Rio is in discussions with Linc Energy,a company that is focused more on coal seam gas and coal based synthetic fuel production, over the mine’s future, according to 4Traders.

These talks come at the same time as Linc looks to de-list from the ASX to join the Singaporean Exchange.

While financial terms for the sale aren’t known, speculation is rife that a deal could be announced as soon as today, after the company yesterday went in to a trading halt “pending the release of an announcement by the company in relation to an acquisition”.

It is understood that the Blair Athol mine could restart operations within the space of two months, and the project has at least 10 million tonnes of coal left at the site.

Linc has also been rumoured to be eyeing off BHP’s Gregory coal complex, which was taken off the table after the miner was unable to secure a buyer for the closed Gregory operation.

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