MELBOURNE, July 23 Japan's Itochu Corp
and Sumitomo Corp want to sell their stakes in two
Australian coal mines and a coal terminal they co-own with
Glencore PLC, two people familiar with the matter said
The Collinsville and Newlands mines in Queensland make up
the sixth-largest coal producing complex in Australia, exporting
energy coal for power stations and metallurgical coal for steel
The joint auction of Itochu's 35 percent stake and
Sumitomo's 10 percent stake would follow a string of mine sales,
closures and project cancellations as coal producers battle
prices at near five-year lows, high costs and a stubbornly high
"Nothing has been decided," Sumitomo spokeswoman Sayaka Ito
said, declining to comment further. Itochu and Glencore declined
The sale was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The Collinsville mine was shut last year for four months and
resumed production earlier this year after Glencore, the
majority owner and operator, cut costs by dropping contractor
Thiess, an arm of Leighton Holdings Ltd, and using its
The mine produced 2.3 million tonnes over the eight months
it was operating last year.
The Newlands open-cut and underground mines produced 6.95
million tonnes of mainly energy coal last year. The underground
mine is due to close in 2015 when it reaches the end of its
life, which Glencore has opted not to extend because of the
For Sumitomo, exiting the mines would follow its acquisition
with Glencore of a majority stake in the Clermont mine,
Australia's third-largest thermal coal mine, for just over $1
billion last year.
The people familiar with the sale declined to comment on a
possible price for Itochu's and Sumitomo's 45 percent stake.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Additional reporting by Yuka
Obayashi in TOKYO)