Merida Natural Resources, a privately held company, announced its affiliate, Western Coal Acquisition Partners LLC has submitted a $215 million irrevocable bid to acquire the Kemmerer coal mine, located in Lincoln County, Wyoming. The mine is owned by Westmoreland Resource Partners LP. The offer was submitted pursuant to the bidding procedures established by an order of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
The bankruptcy court sale hearing for Kemmerer is scheduled on February 28, and if successful, Merida expects to close the purchase shortly thereafter, according to the company. If acquired, Merida said Kemmerer will play a leading role as it’s Western “flagship” mine, as the company continues its expansion throughout the Western coal basins.
“We are grateful to be a part of the process to sell the historical Kemmerer mine and, if we are the successful bidder, look forward to working with the employees, customers, and community in building a strong and stable future for Kemmerer,” said Merida CEO Tom Clarke.
Merida is owned by Tom and Ana Clarke and is affiliated with Clarke Investments LLC, which operates investments in the mining, metals, energy, offshore construction and decommissioning, recycling, and insurance sectors. Ana Clarke was the largest shareholder of Westmoreland Coal Co. common equity at the time of its bankruptcy filing.
Merida currently has minority and controlling investments in five thermal and metallurgical coal mines in Canada and the United States, producing 4.2 million tons annually. The Kemmerer mine is more than 130 years old, commencing open-pit mining in 1950. At one time, Kemmerer was the largest open-pit thermal coal mine in the world having produced more than 200 million tons since opening. Kemmerer produced 4 million tons of coal in 2018 and currently employees 288 people.