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Peabody To Retain Metropolitan Coking Coal Operation in Australia


Peabody will retain the Metropolitan metallurgical coal mine and its associated 16.67% interest in Port Kembla Coal Terminal after proposed purchaser South32 terminated the purchase contract. South 32 was unable to obtain clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) within the timeframe required under the contract.

“We are surprised that South32 and the ACCC reached an impasse, given both the physical synergies and the global nature of the metallurgical coal markets,” said Glenn Kellow, president and CEO, Peabody Energy. “On the other hand, we see continuing opportunities given Metropolitan’s quality coking coals and port location, and our objective will be to operate the mine while maximizing returns in the international marketplace.”

The Metropolitan mine, which exports coal from Port Kembla in New South Wales, sold 2 million metric tons (mt) of hard coking coal in 2016 and has approximately 26 million mt of proven and probable reserves. The mine employs approximately 250 employees and contractors.

As a result of South32 not completing the acquisition of the mine, Peabody will retain the previously negotiated deposit. The termination of the transaction has no effect on operations, and Metropolitan intends to fully resume shipments following scheduled completion of a longwall move to a new coal panel at the end of May.

Peabody said it intends to update its 2017 targets including Metropolitan mine in its upcoming first quarter 2017 earnings release.