TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Rio Tinto, the third-biggest mining company, has sold all the shares it owned in US coal miner Cloud Peak Energy after underwriters exercised an overallotment option on a secondary offering of Cloud Peak shares.
The offering of 25,6-million shares closed on December 21 and the underwriters used their option to buy another 3,8-million Cloud Peak shares, Rio said in a statement.
Gross proceeds from the offering were $573,3-million, including the overallotment shares.
Cloud Peak Energy started trading on the NYSE in November 2009, after Rio Tinto sold 30,6-million shares in the company in an initial public offering.
The business was spun out as part of Rio's programme of selling noncore assets to pay off debt taken on to buy Canadian aluminium group Alcan, although Rio said at the time it would retain an interest of up to 48% in Cloud Peak.
Cloud Peak owns and operates three large surface coal mines – Antelope and Cordero Rojo in Wyoming and the Spring Creek mine in Montana.
It also owns a 50% nonoperating interest in the Decker mine, also in Montana.