The view from Springwood, a neighbouring property of Meteor Downs, clearly shows the Rolleston Mine which Xstrata hopes to expand.
The view from Springwood, a neighbouring property of Meteor Downs, clearly shows the Rolleston Mine which Xstrata hopes to expand.

Mining land purchase bucks trend

XSTRATA Coal has taken a significant step towards its Rolleston Coal mine expansion by securing the purchase of a rural property for an astonishing $21.6 million.

Late last week Australian Agricultural Company entered into a binding agreement to sell Meteor Downs, a property east of Springsure, bare of cattle and plant, to the international mining giant.

“The purchase of Meteor Downs is part of our ongoing Land Acquisition Strategy for the expansion of the Rolleston Coal mine,” an Xstrata spokesman said.

Xstrata’s Mining Lease application covers 8895ha and for it to be successful, the acquisition of other properties will have to occur.

The spokesman would not confirm which properties, or how much of a percentage of the 8895ha was made up by Meteor Downs, but said the company was holding discussions.

AAco chief executive said the sale offered compelling value for shareholders.

“The price agreed with Xstrata Coal is well in excess of the book value of the Meteor Downs property… it underlines the strength and core value of the property holdings and supports the balance sheet of the company,” Mr Farley said.

The sale bucks all recent trends in a Central Queensland rural market that has seen a significant downturn in activity since 2007.

Rural property sales are down and values are “easing” according to Herron Todd and White CQ rural manager Will McClay.

Mr McClay said there has been a significant decrease in the volume of rural sales on the high end of the market.

He said there had been a number of properties bought by mining companies near Moranbah, Capella, Middlemount, Blackwater and Bluff.


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