MELBOURNE, May 7 (Reuters) - Australia's Whitehaven Coal said it plans to acquire coal explorer Coalworks for A$1 per share, valuing the company at A$172 million ($174 million), in the nation's rapidly consolidating coal sector.
Whitehaven, which already controls 17.3 percent of Coalworks, said its offer was highly attractive and at a substantial premium to recent trading in Coalworks' shares.
Earlier this year, Whitehaven became the nation's biggest independent coal miner when it agreed a $2.5 billion takeover of Aston Resources and a local coal explorer.
Coalworks shares last traded at A$0.855.
Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; Editing by Ed Davies