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Gloucester seals Stratford deal

GLOUCESTER Coal yesterday sealed a $A8.9 million deal with Itochu to take full control of the Stratford coal mining operations in New South Wales.

Angie Tomlinson
Gloucester seals Stratford deal

Gloucester first revealed the deal in June, but has now made final agreements for the Stratford Joint Venture, including establishment of a new Coal Sales Agency Agreement and share placement.

The company bought Itochu's 10% interest, while Itochu agreed to take a 5% equity stake in Gloucester Coal by buying 4.15 million shares at $A3.32 each. The funds from the placement will be used to acquire Itochu's 10% stake including freehold land, coal-handling plan, mining operations, and reserves and resources.

The two companies have been partners at Stratford since operations began in 1995.

Gloucester said the step was an important one in rationalising and optimising its mining operations. The result will be more efficient administration and a cleaner corporate structure. Gloucester will consolidate its 100%-ownership of the Gloucester Basin coal tenements and boost its share of annual production by 11% from July.

Gloucester's Stratford operations produced 2.7 million tonnes of thermal coal in 2004.

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