Xstrata Coal has agreed to acquire the Sukunka hard coking coal deposit from Talisman Energy Inc. for $500 million in cash. Sukunka is located in the Peace River coalfield of northern British Columbia, contiguous with First Coal Corp. and Lossan tenements acquired by Xstrata Coal in August and October 2011, respectively. Sukunka has an NI 43-101 compliant coal resource of 236 million metric tons in the measured and indicated categories.

“Based on our due diligence and technical analysis, Sukunka has the potential to be a high quality metallurgical coal mine. Once developed, Sukunka would meaningfully increase our exposure to hard coking coal, while unlocking synergies with our neighboring assets in the Peace River coalfield and providing additional regional scale,” said Xstrata Coal Chief Executive Peter Freyberg.

Norwest Corp. has completed a pre-feasibility study for a longwall mine producing hard coking coal. Xstrata Coal’s technical studies indicate the potential to realize further value from the resource.