Nathan Tinkler to buy shut-down Wilkie Creek mine

A SINGAPOREAN firm owned by embattled mining magnate Nathan Tinkler is buying a mothballed south-west Queensland coal mine for almost $75 million.

Current owners Peabody Energy shut down the Wilkie Creek mine in December last year, costing up to 200 jobs.

Overnight, Peabody told the New York Stock Exchange it had done a deal with Singapore's Bentley Resources, owned by Mr Tinkler, for US$70 million in cash.

Bentley would take responsibility rail and port obligations.

Peabody owns seven mines in Queensland's Bowen Basin, west of Mackay and Rockhampton and three in New South Wales.

The Australian reports Peabody attempted to offload the mine, near Dalby, in 2012 for about $500 million.

Mr Tinkler is understood to have bought the site now that Peabody was willing to accept so much less.

Mr Tinkler told The Australian on Wednesday he hoped to have the mine back into production before the end of the year.

The so-called "boganaire" is expected to give evidence to the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption this week.

There are allegations his Buildev property group donated $66,000 to a secret Liberal Party fund ahead of the state's 2011 election.

The former billionaire experienced a spectacular fall from grace after being forced to sell his valuable stake in Whitehaven Coal at a bargain price in an effort to avoid being crushed by outstanding debts.

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