Mining giant BHP has sold its stake in a metallurgical coal joint venture in Queensland for more than $1.6 billion.
Stanmore Resources will buy BHP’s 80 per cent stake in BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC), which owns and operates the Poitrel and South Walker Creek mines in central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
Stanmore will pay $US1.1 billion ($A1.5 billion) initially and another $100 million ($135 million) six months after the sale.
There’s also the potential for up to $US150 million ($202 million) to be paid to BHP, depending on earnings.
BHP’s Minerals Australia president Edgar Basto says the sale is another toward aligning their portfolio with global decarbonisation efforts.
“As the world decarbonises, BHP is sharpening its focus on producing higher quality metallurgical coal sought after by global steelmakers to help increase efficiency and lower emissions,” he said in a statement.
“South Walker Creek and Poitrel are well run assets that have been an important part of our portfolio for many years, and we are grateful for their contribution to BHP.
“Under this agreement, BMC will transition to Stanmore Resources, an ASX-listed company that has established relationships with traditional owners and strong engagement with their workforce and local communities.”
Besides the two mines, BMC owns Red Mountain Infrastructure and the Wards Well development.
BHP will continue to operate BMC until the sale’s completion in mid-2022 and provide “transitional services” to Stanmore, which has other operations in the Bowen Basin.
The sale to Stanmore Resources, which is majority-owned by Singapore-based Golden Energy and Resources, will need approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Meanwhile, BHP is still looking to offload its open-cut thermal coal mine at Mt Arthur in the NSW Hunter Valley.
“The review process for New South Wales Energy Coal is progressing, in line with the two-year time frame announced in August 2020,” it said.
“BHP remains open to all options and continues consultation with relevant stakeholders.”