The Wambo and United mines, both in Hunter Valley, will represent a 50:50 JV producing up to 6 million tons a year of thermal coal pending Q3 2017 completion. “Peabody continues to reduce costs, improve our position and create value,” said Peabody CEO Glenn Kellow.

Australian officials welcomed the development in an area hard-hit by a post-2012 downturn. “Our region is suffering substantial job losses,” Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union district President Peter Jordan said as quoted by Reuters News.

Employees at Peabody’s Wambo site will relocate to Glencore’s United asset, currently nonoperational, under the deal. Glencore will use existing infrastructure to run the project, in turn, while Peabody operates washing and loading facilities; the agreement does not extend to Wambo’s underground mine.