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BT Mining clears final transaction hurdle

Treasury has granted BT Mining acceptable owner status of the Rotowaro, Maramarua, and Stockton mines.

It is the last condition for the purchase of the mines from Solid Energy and settlement is firmed for August 31. The transaction received Overseas Investment Office approval on July 27.

Acceptable owner status also grants BT Mining access to escrow funds under the Crown's rehabilitation indemnity deeds for each site.

BT Mining is a joint-venture between Bathurst Resources and Talley’s Energy. It has had commercial control of the assets since the start of July.

"This is the last material statutory hurdle to closing the transaction. We are very excited that BT Mining will take control of these fantastic assets in a week’s time,” Bathurst chief executive Richard Tacon said.

Bathurst also said today that it expects New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals to approve additional expoloration and mining permits associated with the Waikato and West Coast mines immediately prior to settlement. That follows the transfer of key mining licences from Solid Energy to BT Mining in June.

Production outlook

Stockton is expected to produce one million tonnes of coking coal in the financial year ending next June, exporting to steel manufacturers in Asia.

Rotowaro is expected to produce 700,000 tonnes and Maramarua 150,000 tonnes. The thermal coal mines will largely be supplying the dairy industry, but Rotowaro also supplies New Zealand Steel and has previously supplied Genesis Energy.

The mine's rail link to NZ Steel’s Glenbrook steel mill can deliver one million tonnes a year.

Genesis is in talks with BT mining about coal supplies for its Huntly Power Plant, which has two 250 MW Rankine units that run on a mixture of coal and gas.

This week Genesis chief executive Marc England told investors the company had been waiting for the BT Mining transaction to clear as it prefers to source coal locally. It briefly resumed imports from Indonesia this year to help ensure it had sufficient supplies to fuel the units during June and July.

 

Eamon Rood
Inside Resources