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Westmoreland to buy New Mexico coal mine

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World Coal,

Westmoreland Coal has agreed in principal to buy BHP Billiton’s San Juan coal mine in New Mexico and enter into a new long-term supply agreement with the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS).

The agreement will see the Colorado-based company take over operations at the mine at the start of 2016 The new coal supply agreements expiring in 2022 with the option to extend beyond should the long-term plans for the plant require that.

“Westmoreland is delighted to establish a new relationship with the SJGS,” said Keith Alessi, CEO of Westmoreland Coal, in a press release. “We look forward to working with the ownership of San Juan [power plant] and BHP Billiton in assuring a smooth transition on or about 1 January 2016.”

The sale of the mine forms part of BHP Billiton’s divestment of unwanted assets, which include its New Mexico coal operations. Last year, the mining company sold another coal mine in the state to the Navajo Nation for US$85 million.

The sale and new supply agreement remains dependent on internal approvals from all parties.

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