Glencore’s interest in Rio Tinto coal assets reignited – by Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Joyce Moullakis (Financial Post – September 1, 2016)

Glencore is once again considering an acquisition of Rio Tinto’s $US 1 billion-plus coal assets, as revealed by Street Talk on Thursday. Deutsche Bank is understood to be in Rio’s corner but it’s unclear whether Glencore is using advisers.

Street Talk understands this time around, Glencore is seeking to buy all of Rio’s Australian coal, including the mining giant’s coking coal assets in Queensland.

The official book value at June 30, 2016, for Rio Tinto Coal Australia was $US1.15 billion. Glencore, which last ran a ruler over the thermal coal assets a year ago, has had its eye on Rio’s Hunter Valley portfolio for the best part of three years.

The Swiss miner initially sought to merge its assets with Rio’s in the Hunter Valley, then famously attempted to merge the two companies together in mid 2014. Both attempts failed.

Rio shopped its Hunter Valley thermal coal assets in early 2015, and managed to sell the Bengalla mine to New Hope Corporation for $US616 million and the undeveloped Mt Pleasant asset to Mach Energy for $US224 million plus a share of future royalties.

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