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Wesfarmers Said to Start $1.5 Billion Australian Coal Sale

  • Conglomerate is gauging interest in Curragh, Bengalla mines
  • Prices for coking coal have nearly quadrupled this year
Coal Industry Facing Downturn With New EPA Rules And Alpha Natural Resources Bankruptcy
Photographer: Luke Sharett/Bloomberg
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Wesfarmers Ltd., the Australian retail-to-fertilizer conglomerate, has kicked off a sale process for its two coal mines in the country after prices for the commodity soared this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Perth-based company has sent preliminary information on the Curragh and Bengalla mines to potential buyers ahead of calling for bids, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Wesfarmers is working with UBS Group AG on the potential divestments, which may fetch as much as A$2 billion ($1.5 billion), two of the people said.