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Who will buy Anglo’s Aussie coal?

Queenslanders will be able to hear from the coal mining industry on their plans for how they will make the coal mining industry safer.

Anglo American said it has had “strong interest” in its five Australian coal mines it plans to sell as part of major asset breakup. But who are the prospective buyers?

The mines soon to be up for grabs include Moranbah North, Capcoal, Dawson, Aquila and Grosvenor, all situated in prime Queensland coal territory.

Around 5000 workers are employed across the mines, and Anglo emphasised these employees would be taken care of amidst the restructure.

“Of course, we are conscious of the impacts of making such far-reaching changes, particularly on our employees,” Anglo chief executive officer Duncan Wanblad said.

“By implementing these portfolio changes ourselves, we will be able to do so in a manner that is respectful of our employees.”

Queensland Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals Scott Stewart reaffirmed Anglo’s commitment, saying he remained hopeful about the “strong future for steelmaking coal” and industry confidence.

“Anglo American and any potential buyer must ensure the workers and the communities these mines operate in are prioritised and I’ve already said that to them,” Stuart told the ABC.

“There will be a number of approvals that would need to be met before any of these assets could be sold.”

Anglo said there has been “strong buyer interest” in its Queensland mines, with sales expected to occur quickly given the current high price of steelmaking coal.

Though Anglo has knocked back two takeover proposals from BHP, The Australian Financial Review reported that the Big Australian may still be interested in taking over the reins of Anglo’s Queensland assets.

The Grosvenor and Moranbah North mines, the premier producers of the five, are adjacent to BHP’s Goonyella Riverside coking coal hub, making them a natural fit for the company.

BHP chief executive Mike Henry himself spruiked the “synergies” of the mines with the rest of BHP’s portfolio in his address at the Bank of America Securities 2024 Global Metals, Mining and Steel conference this week.

Stanmore Resources, Whitehaven Coal, Coronado Global Resources, Peabody Energy, Teck Resources, and Glencore could also join the pot of potential suitors, given their respective synergies.

While Anglo is remaining tight-lipped on who is in the race for its Queensland operations for now, the availability of the mines is drawing plenty of intrigue.

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