BHP has announced that it will retain New South Wales Energy Coal (NSWEC) in its portfolio and will seek the relevant approvals to continue mining beyond its current mining consent that expires in 2026.
Importantly, the company said that it will proceed with a managed process to cease mining at the asset by the end of the 2030 financial year.
The company added that a trade sale process for NSWEC was conducted however the process did not result in a viable offer.
BHP pointed out that continued mining in the near term and moving to a closure in 2030 provides the optimal financial outcome when compared to alternate options.
“The decision follows BHP’s review of its lower grade metallurgical and energy coal assets that was announced in August 2020 and has also resulted in the divestment of our interests in Cerrejón and BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) in January and May 2022 respectively,” BHP noted in a statement.
Plans to continue operating NSWEC to FY2030 are subject to obtaining relevant approvals to enable mining beyond the current consent, which only provides approval for mining until 2026, the company said.
It is expected that continued work on rehabilitation will take 10 to 15 years following the cessation of mining. The provision for closure of the mine as at 31 December 2021 was approximately US$700 million, BHP added.
BHP is a world-leading resources company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The company is among the world’s top producers of commodities, including iron ore, copper, nickel and metallurgical (steelmaking) coal.