Rio Tinto has agreed to sell its Mount Pleasant thermal coal assets to MACH Energy Australia Pty Ltd. for $224 million plus royalties. With the recently announced binding agreement for the sale of Rio Tinto’s interest in the neighboring Bengalla coal joint venture, this amounts to $830 million of agreed sales.
“These agreements for over $800 million in asset sales deliver significant value for our shareholders, with the potential for future royalties from Mount Pleasant,” said Jean-Sébastien Jacques, chief executive for copper and coal at Rio Tinto. “We believe Mount Pleasant can have a very positive future under its new owners with different priorities for development and capital allocation.”
Rio Tinto has now announced or completed US$4.7 billion of divestments since January 2013.
Mount Pleasant is a large-scale, thermal coal asset in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales with total marketable reserves of 474 million metric tons. The sale is subject to certain conditions precedent being met, including completion of the restructure of Coal & Allied and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016.