By Robb M. Stewart
January 2, 2018 - Glencore PLC has agreed to sell an underground coal mine in eastern Australia to GFG Alliance, an industrial conglomerate that last year picked up steel and iron-ore mining assets in the country.
Glencore said the deal for its Tahmoor mine remains subject to state government approval and is expected to be completed this quarter. No financial details were disclosed by the company, which is one of Australia's largest coal producers with 17 operating mines across the east.
Glencore had planned to halt mining at Tahmoor beyond 2018, but with a recovery in coking coal prices it reversed course last May and restarted development of the mine but also said it was seeking a buyer. Located in the Southern Highlands region southwest of Sydney, the mine produced almost 1.8 million metric tons of steelmaking coal in 2016, with an estimated 57 million tons of reserves.
Mining at Tahmoor began in 1979 and the operation has changed hands several times over the years, being bought in October 2007 by Xstrata, which is now part of Glencore.
GFG, a group of businesses owned by Britain's Gupta family, last year bought the Australian mining and steel-making operations of failed company Arrium Ltd., which includes iron-ore bulk handling facilities at the Whyalla port in the country's south.