A mining company has started offloading its embattled coal mine in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
Peabody Energy confirmed it has started selling its North Goonyella Coal Mine in Moranbah, 184km southwest of Mackay.
“Following a significant reduction in holding costs, Peabody is commencing a commercial process for its North Goonyella Mine in parallel with the existing and ongoing mine development plan,” the company said in its earnings report for the three months ending on December 31.
The tough decision came after years of downsizing its workforce by more than 200 staff and reducing its annual metallurgical coal production by more than 1.5 million tonnes. Peabody has already received strong interest from potential buyers who could revive the operation.
“The process comes in response to substantial expressions of interest in this valuable asset from potential strategic partners and other producers,” the company said. “Commercial outcomes could include a strategic financial partner, joint venture structure or complete sale of North Goonyella.”
Peabody has started holding talks the Queensland Mines Inspectorate (QMI) about ventilation and reentering Zone B at the mine.
“Based on the success of discussions with QMI and/or progression of the commercial process being launched, Peabody will determine the appropriate level, if any, and timing of capital expenditures,” the company said.
It is unclear whether the few remaining workers at the mine would be retained as part of the sale process.