MELBOURNE, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto Plc has agreed to sell one of its last remaining coal mines in Australia to a group owned by Indonesia’s third-richest man, Anthoni Salim, continuing an exit from coal as it battles a sharp slump in prices.
Rio Tinto said on Monday it was selling its Mount Pleasant thermal coal assets in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales to a private company, MACH Energy Australia Pty Ltd, for $224 million plus royalties.
MACH is an entity owned by Indonesian conglomerate Salim Group.
The royalties from the mine would only be paid when coal prices top $72.50 a tonne, well above the current price of $47.37.
“We believe Mount Pleasant can have a very positive future under its new owners with different priorities for development and capital allocation,” Rio Tinto copper and coal chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said in a statement.
The sale of the Mount Pleasant mine, which has marketable reserves of 474 million tonnes, follows Rio Tinto’s sale of its stake in the Bengalla joint venture last year for $606 million and leaves it with the Hunter Valley Operations and Mount Thorley Warkworth mines. (Reporting by Sonali Paul)