Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2018

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Page 35 of 115

NEWS - THIS MONTH IN COAL 34 E&MJ • DECEMBER 2018 New Hope Acquires Controlling Interest in Bengalla JV New Hope has reached a binding com- mitment with Taipower with respect to the Bengalla Joint Venture (JV). Taipower will purchase a further 10% interest in the Bengalla JV by participating in the sale by Wesfarmers Ltd. of its 40% interest to New Hope. Mitsui has waived its preemptive right with respect to the Wesfarmers trans- action. Once the Wesfarmers acquisition is complete, New Hope will hold a 70% inter- est in the joint venture with Taipower and Mitsui holding interests of 20% and 10%, respectively. The Wesfarmers transaction is expected to complete in early December. Located 4 kilometers (km) southwest of Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, the Bengalla mine is an open-cut mine that uses a dragline, trucks and shovels to supply 8 million metric tons (mt) of thermal coal annually. New Hope has also reached a binding commitment with Mitsui to purchase its 10% interest in Bengalla for A$215 mil- lion. The economic effective date for this transaction will be consistent with the Wesfarmers sale. New Hope's final interest in the Ben- galla JV will be dependent on the actions of Taipower during the preemptive rights process for the Mitsui transaction. Fol- lowing completion of the Mitsui transac- tion — anticipated to occur in the first quarter of 2019 — New Hope will own up to an 80% interest in the Bengalla JV. "Acquiring a controlling interest in Bengalla demonstrates New Hope's long- term positive outlook for the global export thermal coal market and our commitment to the Bengalla mine and its employees," said Shane Stephan, New Hope manag- ing director. To fund the acquisitions of both Wes- farmers' and Mitsui's interests in Bengalla, New Hope has entered into a A$600 mil- lion syndicated corporate debt facility and a A$300 million facility for performance bonds, letters of credit and other like con- tingent instruments. Queensland Approves EIS for China Stone Coal Project MacMines Austasia Pty Ltd. has received approval from Queensland's coordinator general for the China Stone Coal project, a major step for the development of an- other huge Australian coal project. Mac- Mines Austasia is a subsidiary of the Mei- jin Energy Group, a privately held Chinese energy company. Meijin is also China's top metallurgical coke producer and has interests in coal mining, steel production and clean energy production. The conditional approval of China Stone's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a milestone in the project's path, the company said. At peak production, the proposed open cut and underground oper- ations located in the Galilee Basin would produce 38 million metric tons per year (mt/y) with a mine life of 50 years. Sit- uated just north of Adani's proposed Car- michael coal project, it would be the fifth coal mine in the Galilee Basin to reach this stage. MacMines has applied for mining leases to enable the project to proceed and this next step will take time to complete. The China Stone project would include the development of mine infrastructure areas, a coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP), a tailings storage facility (TSF), a rail loop and train-loading facili- ties, a coal-fired power station and power station waste storage facility, a private airstrip, and an accommodation village. "There are significant local, regional and state benefits to be derived from the China Stone coal project, and that en- vironmental impacts can be acceptably managed, minimized or offset, through the implementation of the measures and proponent commitments outlined in the EIS," said Barry Broe, Queensland's coor- dinator general. Critical to the development of the Chi- na Stone Coal project is the completion of a railway that links the northern Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point coal terminal. This is the key enabling infrastructure for the project and MacMines said it is con- sidering options to deliver this outcome. One the major conditions in his report requires continual, progressive rehabili- tation during the life of the project. "As part of my assessment of the EIS, I have set conditions in this evaluation report to avoid, manage and mitigate impacts on the environment and local communi- ties," Broe said. "I consider there to be significant environmental, economic and social benefits to be realized by returning the land to a useful state after mining, including for grazing and as habitat for the endangered black-throated finch and other significant fauna species." This report can be found here at www. eis-china-stone-coal-project-unsigned.pdf. The Bengalla mine is an open-cut mine that uses a dragline, trucks and shovels to supply 8 million mt/y of thermal coal.

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