Rio Tinto offloads Australian coal asset stake for $200m

Rio Tinto this morning announced that it has completed the sale of its majority stake in a coal project for $200m (£151m).

Shares in the company rose 1.5 per cent in early trading.

The firm will sell its 75 per cent share of the Winchester South coal development project in Queensland, Australia to Whitehaven Coal.

The deal is broken down into an immediate $150m payment and $50m to be paid in one year.

Read more: The UK has now clocked up a record three days in a row without coal power

Retail property manager Scentre Group has the remaining 25 per cent stake in Winchester South. The site is expected to produce coking and thermal coal.

“We believe this agreement for the sale of Winchester South represents the best option for the future development of the project while delivering attractive value for Rio Tinto,” Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said when the transaction was first agreed.

The sale was first announced in March, just days after Rio Tinto sold its Hail Creek coal mine to Glencore for $1.7bn.

More sales are expected to be completed in the second half of 2018 as the FTSE 100 giant offloads several major assets.

Read more: Mining giant Rio Tinto faces shareholder revolt over climate change issues

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