Queensland losing its Brazilian
Wednesday 14 December 2016
Global commodities and resources group AMCI is continuing to invest in Central Queensland coal, announcing it’s re-purchased the Carborough Downs coal mine from Vale after selling it to them nearly a decade ago.
Technically the new owner of the Carborough Downs mine is private company Fitzroy Australia Resources (FAR), although both AMCI and FAR are controlled by American based coal billionaire Hans Jürgen Mende.
FAR and Vale are not releasing details of the sale price, so we will never know whether it was a sell-in-boom-buy-in-bust deal to be remembered alongside Kerry packer’s Channel Nine sale to Alan Bond.
However we do know that in 2007 Vale paid $835 million to AMCI for the Integra Coal mine in NSW, 80% of Carborough Downs, half the Isaac Plains mine, the Broadlea Joint venture, and a suite of other undeveloped deposits.
Then in 2009 Vale spent a further $400 million updating the mining processes at Carborough mine to achieve saleable coal of 2.8 million tonnes a year.
In a written statement Fitzroy Executive Chairman, Brian MacDonald said this latest sale includes the Carborough Downs mine and the adjacent Broadlea deposit, as well as some other nearby land assets.
Which he says they will continue to operate at their current levels.
“The Fitzroy acquisition and expansion plan will see the mine continue operations with the
existing workforce and staff,” he said.
“The transaction represents a landmark acquisition for AMCI and Fitzroy Australia Resources, and we are excited by the opportunity to acquire a quality suite of assets in the world class
“The company is committed to safe and productive operations as its absolute priority, and we are also keenly focused on growing out the portfolio of assets where it is commercially compelling so that over time we continue to develop a dynamic and successful business.”
The Carborough Downs underground mine is 20 kilometres east of Moranbah and produces predominantly hard and semi-hard coking coal with pulverised coal injection (PCI) coal as a secondary product.
Total mining capacity is 4 Mtpa of which 2.8 Mtpa is sold. The current mine plan allows for mining until 2019, but there is potential for significant mine extensions beyond that timeframe.
At peak production, Carborough Downs employs around 500 people.
The sale of Carborough Downs follows the sale of the mothballed Isaac Plains Mine to Stanmore Coal just over a year ago, marking Vale’s hasty retreat from coal mining in Australia after it reported monumental losses of more than $12 billion in the last financial year.The best part of three-quarters of a billion dollars was lost at its Australian Coal mines alone.
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