New Hope said it had bought the 15 per cent stake in Malabar because it had surplus cash and its strategy was to invest in coal assets that were low cost and long life.
Malabar owns the $500 million Maxwell coking coal project, near Muswellbrook NSW, which it has started to develop.
New Hope said it would add “meaningful equity tonnes” and diversified the company’s asset base into coking coal. New Hope is predominantly a thermal coal producer.
The company also said the focus on energy security in recent months had supported the thermal coal price over the June half year and “we expect pricing to remain at historically high levels for the short to medium term”.
New Hope also owns 80 per cent Bengalla Mining in NSW and said wet weather in the area had impacted operations, but this had been offset by strong pricing.
Bengalla had also been able to sell more of its coal into the domestic market. Production at Bengalla was expected to increase over the next two years in response to strong demand.
Bengalla had also received an exploration licence for a 556ha area adjoining the western side of its mine.
New Hope is still awaiting a mining lease from the Queensland Government for its long-delayed Acland mine, near Oakey.
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