PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed New Hope is aiming to complete the acquisition of mining major Rio Tinto’s 40% interest in the Bengalla thermal coal mine, in New South Wales, by March.
The junior said on Monday that it had cleared two material conditions to the purchase of the mine. These included the remaining shareholders in Bengalla not exercising their pre-emptive rights under the joint venture (JV) agreement, and the completion of a corporate restructure under which the Rio JV participant became a wholly owned subsidiary of the major.
A small number of conditions precedent remained outstanding.
New Hope in September last year entered into an agreement to purchase Rio’s 40% stake in the mine for A$865-million.
Bengalla is the smallest of three coal mines in the Hunter Valley in which Rio holds an interest and produced about 8.6-million tonnes in 2014, of which Rio’s share equalled 3.4-million tonnes.
The mine’s development consent allowed for production to increase to around 12-million tonnes a year.
New Hope reported that the acquisition of the Bengalla mine was expected to deliver an immediate positive contribution to the group’s operating and financial performance.