Aussie Coal Miner Bulks Up With U.S. Deal

From Wall Street Journal

By David Winning

Coal miner Ambre Energy’s plan to list on the Australian Securities Exchange may be on hold, but the Brisbane-based company is continuing to bulk up in the U.S.

Ambre’s latest move involves the purchase of the 50% interest that it doesn’t already own in the Decker thermal coal mine in the state of Montana from industry heavyweight Cloud Peak Energy Inc. CLD +0.88%

The deal, which settles a legal dispute between the two companies, involves the payment by Ambre of 57 million Australian dollars (US$59.5 million) in cash to Cloud Energy by the end of March and the grant of capacity at its proposed export terminal on the U.S. west coast.

“Taking full ownership of Decker is another significant step for Ambre in developing coal exports through the U.S. Pacific Northwest,” Ambre Chief Executive Edek Choros said in a statement. “As well as building new port infrastructure, Ambre will now also be able to guarantee the supply of high quality U.S. coal to customers in Korea, Japan and the Asia Pacific region from its own mining operations.”

Ambre is seeking permits to build a new coal-export facility known as the Millennium Bulk Terminals in Washington state, with an initial capacity of 25 million tons a year and potential to expand in a second phase to 44 million tons. The facility will be majority owned by Ambre, with New York-listed Arch Coal ACI 0.00% holding a 38% interest.

When the deal completes, Ambre will grant Cloud Peak an option for up to 5 million tons of handling capacity at the Millennium Bulk Terminals.

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