The Mount Pleasant thermal coal mine has found a buyer, with the sale going to MACH Energy Australia for $US224 million plus royalties on future coal sales.
Rio Tinto announced the binding agreement for the Hunter Valley asset sale this morning, which combined with the sale of its interest in the Bengalla Coal joint venture to New Hope Corporation, will amount to $US830 million, or $1.184 billion in agreed sales.
Rio Tinto copper and coal chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said the agreements would deliver significant value for shareholders, with the potential for future royalties from Mount Pleasant.
“We believe Mount Pleasant can have a very positive future under its new owners with different priorities for development and capital allocation,” he said.
The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016 subject to completion of the restructure of Coal & Allied and regulatory approvals.
Mount Pleasant boasts total estimated reserves of 474 million tonnes of thermal coal.
Rio Tinto has now announced or completed US$4.7 billion worth of divestments since January 2013.
MACH Energy Australia is a private company that was incorporated on 29 September 2015.