March 1, 2012 / 4:56 AM / 6 years ago

Aston says gets Itochu nod for stake sale in project

SYDNEY, March 1 (Reuters) - Australia’s Aston Resources said its joint venture partner Itochu Corp has agreed to its planned sale of a 10 percent stake in the Maules Creek project to Japan’s Electric Power Development Co for A$370 million ($400 million).

The deal includes a long-term coal sales agreement between Maules Creek and J-Power, Aston said in a statement on Thursday.

Aston’s stake in the project, considered one of its best coal assets, will fall to 75 percent and Itochu’s will remain at 15 percent after the deal.

Itochu has consented to the terms of the coal sales agreement and waived its pre-emptive rights on the stake sale, subject to it being completed by June 30, Aston said.

Aston has also agreed to acquire Itochu’s option to buy up to 15 percent of the coal produced from the Maules Creek Project for A$20.3 million, payable by March 26. ($1 = 0.9255 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by John Mair)

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