Settlement has been reached in the sale of Solid Energy’s Ohai and New Vale coal mines on New Zealand’s South Island to Greenbriar. The transaction sees all current employees and operations transferring to the new owner.
Solid Energy’s CEO Tony King said that in the circumstances the settlement was an extremely pleasing outcome. “The mines are transferring into very capable hands and an experienced and dedicated workforce is being retained. It is the best possible result for our people, our customers, the local communities and the Southland economy.”
The signing of a sale and purchase agreement for the two Southland mines was announced last October at the conclusion of an extensive sales program encompassing all of Solid Energy’s mining assets across the country. The announcement earlier this month marks the first of the company’s major mining assets to change hands.
Greenbriar is owned by the Palmer MH Group, a privately-owned South Island resources group, with diverse, well-established interests in mining and quarrying operations.
New Vale Mine is at Waimumu, southeast of Gore. Ohai Mine is 80km northwest of Invercargill at the base of the Takitimu Mountains. The mines supply a wide group of customers including the meat and dairy industry, other industrial and commercial organisations as well as schools and hospitals in the region.
Solid Energy previously announced that settlement of the West Coast assets purchased by Birchfield Coal Mines, a local West Coast mining business, is expected mid-April and by Moore Mining Ltd in May/June.
The assets sold to Birchfield are Strongman mine, Island Block mine, the Reefton Distribution Centre and the Mt Davy mining permit. Moore Mining is acquiring the Reddale mine, Burkes Creek washery and related assets near Reefton.
Settlement with BT Mining, a joint venture of Bathurst Resources and Talley’s Group, for the Stockton export coal operation, and the two Waikato mines, Rotowaro and Maramarua, is expected in June/July.
“We have placed significant focus through the asset sales program on securing the path forward for the assets and facilitating employment opportunities for staff so this result is extremely heartening,” Tony King said.
Earlier this year Solid Energy announced that despite an exhaustive sales process it had been unsuccessful in securing a buyer for Spring Creek mine and had reluctantly taken the decision to close the mine.
Spring Creek, at Dunollie near Greymouth, has been in care and maintenance since 2012 when production was stopped following a review of the mine’s economic viability. It will now be sealed to place it in a safe and secure state.