Wednesday 22nd Nov, 2017

Rio reportedly targeting sale of Hail Creek and Kestrel

Hail Creek mine. Photo: Rio Tinto
Hail Creek mine. Photo: Rio Tinto

Following the sale of its Coal & Allied mine assets to Yancoal, Rio Tinto will reportedly move to sell its Hail Creek and Kestrel Coal mines in Queensland.

The mining giant is yet to put out a formal statement triggering the sale process, but according to multiple reports the move will be the next step in the miner’s disposal of coal assets along Australia’s east coast.

According to one story in The Australian, Whitehaven Coal, Apollo, EMR Capital and Anglo American are all in line as potential suitors for the sale.

Both Hail Creek and Kestrel are located in central Queensland.

Kestrel, 40km north-east of Emerald, uses the longwall and continuous miner method to mine coking and thermal coal at a rate of just under 5mtpa.

Hail Creek, 120km south-west of Mackay, is an open cut mine using a dragline, truck and shovel method, and produced 9.4mt of hard and thermal coal for export in 2015, via the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal 100 kilometres away.

The rumoured news comes less than a fortnight after Rio finalised the $2.69 billion sale of Coal & Allied – its collection of coal mines in the Hunter Valley – to Chinese miner Yancoal on September 1.

Rio said it was selling Coal & Allied to improve its balance sheet.

Hail Creek and Kestrel could reportedly net the mining giant another $2 billion through sale. The miner is also reportedly fielding potential suitors to buy its aluminium assets.