Peabody terminates Tinkler deal

FORMER coal baron Nathan Tinkler’s chances of returning to Australia’s mining scene have become slimmer as Peabody Energy finally scrapped the agreement to sell the shelved Wilkie Creek mine to Tinkler’s Singapore-based Bentley Resources for $150 million.
Peabody terminates Tinkler deal Peabody terminates Tinkler deal Peabody terminates Tinkler deal Peabody terminates Tinkler deal Peabody terminates Tinkler deal

Nathan Tinkler

Blair Price

“While Bentley Resources initially made a non-refundable payment towards the purchase, Bentley was unable to meet its subsequent obligations for closing,” Peabody confirmed via email.

“Peabody Energy is evaluating its alternatives for the Wilkie Creek assets, which was closed in late 2013.”

This outcome follows earlier press speculation that Tinkler missed a June 30 deadline for a scheduled payment under the Wilkie Creek deal announced in May.

Last month Queensland explorer Stanmore Coal conceded it had held incomplete talks over acquiring Wilkie Creek surface mine from Peabody. A press report at the time claimed Stanmore had offered $20 million.

Near New Hope’s New Acland mine in Queensland’s Surat Basin, Wilkie Creek hosted resources of more than 500 million tonnes and produced 2Mt of coal in 2012. It was closed in December last year because of tough market conditions.

Tinkler’s financial straits were further evident with the recent news that retail billionaire Gerry Harvey had seized Tinkler's thoroughbred racing empire, Patinack Farm.

Tinkler’s empire has been unwound by a combination of high leverage, unprofitable forays into non-mining businesses and the coal industry downturn over recent years.

The former sparky made his first coal fortune by buying the Middlemount deposit in Queensland with business partner Matthew Higgins for $30 million with a $1 million deposit in 2006 and selling it to Macarthur Coal a year later for $265 million worth of its shares.