Xstrata buys property near Rolleston

XSTRATA Coal has agreed to pay $A21.6 million for the Meteor Downs cattle farm, located near the Rolleston open cut mine in Queensland.
Xstrata buys property near Rolleston Xstrata buys property near Rolleston Xstrata buys property near Rolleston Xstrata buys property near Rolleston Xstrata buys property near Rolleston

The expansion MLA areas are in orange. Rolleston map courtesy of AECOM.

Lauren Barrett

The purchase from Australian Agriculture Company gives Xstrata ownership of the 17,474-hectare property and is expected to be completed by mid August.

AAC chief executive officer David Farley said the Meteor Downs station had become a “non-core asset” to the company.

“The price agreed with Xstrata Coal is well in excess of the book value of the Meteor Downs property and represents exceptional value for [our] shareholders,” Farley said.

Farley was quoted by Australian Associated Pressas saying the sale had been inevitable.

“Ultimately, it [Meteor Downs] will be consumed by the mine,” Farley reportedly said.

“You could fight it out, but the reality in Queensland is that mining has greater economic impact for the government, and it would be a long drawn-out fight.”

Xstrata Coal had previously purchased a Meteor Downs property for the Rolleston coal mine, which started up in 2005.

The company is seeking approval to extend the Rolleston project, which would extend its mine life by 20 years.

The Queensland government announced its transitional arrangements for its strategic cropping land policy last month, but purchasing farmland helps avoid potential land-use conflicts.

China Shenhua Energy bought much farmland near its Watermark coal project in the Gunnedah Basin of New South Wales over recent years.

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