An official sale for Anglo?
JAPANESE steel maker the one “dragging its feet” and operational changes possible.
Wednesday 24 August 2016
The word around the crib hut on Foxleigh mine is that the sale and purchase agreement entered into by Anglo American and Taurus Funds Management will become an actual sale deal on Monday next week.
According to one source, all the due diligence on the sale agreement has been completed and now it’s just a matter of all parties signing off on it.
However, that may not be as easy as it seems with a “strictly anonymous” source close to the deal telling Shift Miner, shareholder Nippon Steel is not supportive of the sale.
“Nippon Steel is not happy with the sale of Foxleigh to Taurus and is the one dragging their feet,” they said.
“Nippon believes Taurus is an untested, inexperienced mine operator and is worried they could be the one left holding the bag on the bond for rehabilitation.
Another Foxleigh miner told Shift Miner the only thing Anglo has told them is that it will be a “walk in walkout” deal, however he also echoed rumours that if Taurus is successful significant operational changes are likely over the next three months.
During the boom years, Japan's Nippon Steel Corporation took a 10 per cent stake in Foxleigh as a way to sure up its supply of steelmaking coal - and in particular PCI coal - which at that time were in extreme demand.
Anglo American owns 70 per cent of the mine, while POSCO owns the remaining 20 percent.
Last week Taurus director Ian Bain told Shift Miner he was: “unable to make any comment due to confidentiality obligations” and was “not able to forecast” a possible time frame for concluding the deal.
In early April, Anglo American released a written statement saying it had “entered into a sale and purchase agreement” with TFM for its 70% stake in the mine.
It has now been eighteen months since Anglo said it planned to exit the Australian coal sector - and to date, not one Queensland sale has finalised.
Anglo American bought the Foxleigh mine nearly a decade ago for more than $700 million, from four Queenslanders, John Philip Thorsen, Trevor Michael Bailey, Paul Armand Darrouzet and the family of Gordon Smith ( who died in 2007).
The four had equal shares and started exploring and developing the mine in 1998, although the area has been considered highly prospective since the 1960’s.