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Consultant revealed behind sale of Central Qld coal mine

North Goonyella Coal Mine
North Goonyella Coal Mine

A professional services company is believed to be leading the sale of a struggling coal operation in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Credit Suisse Australia was reportedly selected to oversee the disposal of Peabody Energy’s North Goonyella Coal Mine in Moranbah, 184km southwest of Mackay.

Process underway

The speculation from News Limited came just weeks after the proponent announced the beginning of a “commercial process” to sell off the operation in line with the existing and ongoing mine development plan.

The difficult 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.

‘Substantial’ interest

“The process comes in response to substantial expressions of interest in this valuable asset from potential strategic partners and other producers,” the company said in its earnings report for the three months ending on December 31. “Commercial outcomes could include a strategic financial partner, joint venture structure or complete sale of North Goonyella.”

Peabody recently held talks the Queensland Mines Inspectorate (QMI) about ventilation and reentering Zone B at the mine.

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“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 unknown whether the few remaining workers at the mine would be retained as part of the sale process.

Credit Suisse did not respond immediately after being contacted by QMEB.

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