A multinational resources producer will not exit one of its coal businesses after all.
BHP confirmed it recently cancelled the sale of New South Wales Energy Coal (NSWEC) because no buyer made a “viable offer”.
The decision means the Mount Arthur Coal Mine will stay open until at least 2026. Both federal and state regulatory approvals will be required to keep operating until it finally closes at the end of fiscal 2030.
“We thoroughly reviewed potential options for NSWEC including divestment and future investment requirements. Seeking approval to continue mining until 2030 avoids closure in 2026 and enables BHP to balance the value and risk of those considerations and our commitments to our people and local communities,” BHP minerals Australia president Edgar Basto said in a public statement.
The proponent claims continuing to mine makes “optimal” financial sense from a resource economics, geotechnical profile and future investment perspective. It also gives affected employees and communities eight years to prepare for the US$700 million (A$996.7M) closure. Rehabilitation is expected to take between 10 and 15 years to complete.
“We will work with our people, local business partners, traditional owners and local and state governments to operate safely and productively, prepare for closure and sustainable rehabilitation of the site – and ensure the pathway to closure is managed in a way that meets community and regulatory expectations,” NSWEC vice president Adam Lancey said.
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