Sumitomo and Glencore move to buy CQ coalmine

QUIET achiever Sumitomo's joint venture with mining giant Glencore to buy a Central Queensland coalmine marks the Japanese powerhouse's latest cash splash in Australia.

Swiss-based Glencore signed up with Sumitomo to form GS Coal and buy 50.1% of Clermont from London-listed miner Rio Tinto for $1.05 billion in a deal signed on Friday.

Once approved, Glencore will run Clermont as the operator and public face of the thermal coalmine.

The deal follows Rio Tinto this month offloading its shuttered Blair Athol mine to Linc Energy for $1 and Glencore's September shelving of its plan to spend $7 billion developing the Wandoan coalmine in south-west Queensland.

Sumitomo's interest in Clermont makes this its sixth Central Queensland coal investment. It has stakes in Glencore's Rolleston, Oaky Creek, Newlands mines, along with a piece of Rio Tinto's Hail Creek.

Unlike the Swiss Glencore though, resources does not dominate Sumitomo's portfolio here in Australia.

It has 16 subsidiary companies nationally investing in food, agriculture, power operation, machinery, manufacturing, automotive supplies and even the timber industry.

The deal is to be finalised in the first three months of 2014.

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