Thiess sells North Goonyella stake to RAG

RAG Australia Coal has taken full equity in the North Goonyella underground coal mine after acquiring Thiess's 40% stake for an undisclosed sum.

Greg Tubby

Thiess said in a statement the sale supports RAG's commitment to increased investment in Queensland's coal resources, and Thiess's strategy to not hold long-term equity in coal mines.

As part of the negotiations, the companies agreed that RAG would take over future mine operations, valued at $238 million, Thiess said.

"RAG is focussed on increasing its exposure to Queensland's coal resources, and RAG and Thiess are negotiating the operation of the potential $65 million Eaglefield opencut development at North Goonyella," Thiess executive general manager for Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Pacific, Murray Fox, said.

RAG Australia Coal managing director Darian Hielscher said North Goonyella was a high-quality resource.

"We have a very positive outlook for North Goonyella," he said. "During the past two years, pleasing progress has been achieved via a re-structuring program which has established the mine as a viable operation."

Operational handover becomes effective immediately, he said.

North Goonyella is located 180km west of Mackay and produces up to 3 million tonnes of hard coking coal a year for export to Europe and Asia.

RAG Coal International ranks in the top-five global producers of hard coal.