Pembroke Resources has bought a 41,500ha parcel of grazing properties in central Queensland, where it is advancing its Olive Downs Coking Coal Project.
The company has not disclosed the price it is paying Peabody Energy for the Iffley, Deveril and Twenty Mile properties.
Pembroke Resources chief executive officer and managing director Barry Tudor described the deal as a demonstration of the company’s commitment to the area.
“Olive Downs is on the Iffley property, so a small portion of that will be part of the (mining) project,” he said.
“But beyond that, when we are looking at being in a community for a long time and building a significant scale mine, as we are, I think it’s good to have a footprint which is not just the mine but to have a broader presence. So when the opportunity came up for those three properties, we thought it was a good opportunity to purchase them.”
A six-year agistment agreement exists on the properties, the bulk of which would always remain as grazing properties, Mr Tudor said.
Pembroke Resources, which has experience operating in the Gloucester Basin in New South Wales, has a philosophy that there is no reason agribusiness and mining can’t co-exist.
Pembroke’s planned Olive Downs development is expected to produce 15Mtpa at full capacity and employ about 1000 people.
Mr Tudor said work to advance the project was progressing well.
“We remain totally committed to the project and production and employment,” he said. “It will be a significant employer of people in that region and the first major new mine for some time.
“This land acquisition, I think, proves how serious we are. We wouldn’t be doing that if we didn’t intend to be pursuing that project as quickly as possible.”
CBRE Chris Holgar, who was involved in managing the sale process on behalf of Peabody, described the transaction as a strong indication that the state’s mining sector was picking up.
“These prominent properties are well known in central Queensland, having been under the stewardship of some of Australia’s most established and renowned cattle families,” he said.
“Notwithstanding the fact that the properties were purchased for mining purposes, the sale also highlighted the underlying strength of the agricultural market with the public expression of interest sale process generating exceptional enquiry from domestic and foreign purchasers of high-quality agricultural assets.”