Six years of uncertainty over the future of Biloela's Callide thermal coal mine came to an end yesterday as Brisbane-based firm Batchfire Resources completed its 100% acquisition of the mine from Anglo American.
Batchfire chief executive Peter Westerhuis said Callide had a "bright long-term future" ahead as a low-cost domestic and export coal producer, with significant thermal coal reserves still recoverable.
"This is a red-letter day for Batchfire, Queensland and especially the people of the Banana Shire and Central Queensland," Mr Westerhuis said.
"Callide Mine has been a major economic and employment driver for Biloela and Central Queensland for more than 70 years.
"Our first priority is to engage with the Callide workforce, contractors, suppliers and the broader community to ensure the smoothest possible transition after six years of uncertainty over the mine's future direction, which I can assure them is positive."
Mr Westerhuis and members of Batchfire's senior management team were expected to brief Callide employees on Batchfire's operational priorities today (Tuesday November 1).
The company said the acquisition took place on a 'walk-out, walk-in' basis, meaning the mine should continue to operate uninterrupted.
CS Energy chief executive Martin Moore welcomed the announcement, saying it would provide increased certainty for the Biloela community as well as ongoing stability for CS Energy's own operations at Callide Power Station.
"Maintaining a reliable supply of coal is essential for the ongoing operations of the power station," Mr Moore said.
"CS Energy has negotiated with Batchfire amended terms to the current Coal Supply Agreements for the supply of coal to the Callide Power Station," he said.
Mr Westerhuis said Batchfire appreciated the support it had received from CS Energy and was "committed to fostering the constructive, working relationship established with CS Energy during the sale process."
While the exact terms of the sale remain confidential, Batchfire said it had received investment support for the acquisition from Singapore-based Lindenfels Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of commodity traders Avra Commodities.
The sale is another step forward for Anglo American as it moves to sell off all of its Australian coal mine assets as part of a global restructure.