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Report: Investor group sets sights on Rio Tinto's Queensland coal assets

A consortium of buyers is interested in bidding for Rio Tinto's Hail Creek and Kestrel coal mines in Queensland, Australia, which could fetch the miner about US$2 billion, Reuters reported Oct. 12, citing sources.

Apollo Global Management and Canada Pension Plan have teamed up with Xcoal Energy & Resources and a former Glencore Plc executive to make a play for the assets.

Anglo American Plc had expressed interest, but the waning outlook for metallurgical coal might discourage it from taking part in the sale. One of the sources added that Whitehaven Coal Ltd. is also likely to make an offer.

Credit Suisse is running the sale process, and interested parties have been invited to submit tentative offers by Dec. 8.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported that the mining giant was approached for its remaining coal mines in Australia after it agreed to sell its Coal & Allied Industries Ltd. unit to Yancoal Australia Ltd.

The sale is part of the miner's planned exit from coal to focus on iron ore, copper and aluminum.

Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Whitehaven declined to comment, the newswire noted.