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The deal was concluded after fulfilment of all conditions and receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals, Rio Tinto added.
Rio announced the sale of the Mozambique coal business – comprising its 65% holding in the Benga hard coking coal mine, and other coal assets in the country – to ICV for just $50 million in July. The deal was worth a fraction of the $3.7 billion Rio Tinto paid for the assets in 2011.
The sale comes amid a period of extreme price depression in the coking coal markets, with Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index fob Australia remaining below $115 per tonne since mid-August. It stood at more than $130 per tonne at the beginning of the year.
Rio Tinto has been hit hard by the price slump. The miner wrote down $21 million on its Mozambique coal assets in August and recently cut a number of jobs at its Kestrel metallurgical coal mine in Queensland, Australia.
The Benga mine produced 288,000 tonnes of hard coking coal and 271,000 tonnes of thermal coal during the second quarter of this year.
This is the first acquisition by ICVL, which was set up by the Indian government for the purpose of securing coal assets overseas.
Anglo-Australian mining major Rio Tinto has completed the sale of Coal Mozambique to India’s International Coal Ventures (ICVL), it said in a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday October 8.