Former Aussie coal magnate Nathan Tinkler buys Anglo American mine

Former Aussie coal magnate Nathan Tinkler buys Anglo American mine

Nathan Tinkler was once Australia's youngest billionaire, but lost it all when coal prices crumbled. (Image from archives)

Australian electrician turned mining entrepreneur, Nathan Tinkler, is once again trying to come back to the coal industry after signing a deal to buy one of Anglo American’s (LON:AAL) mines in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley.

Junior Australian Pacific Coal (ASX:AQC), now led by Tinkler, announced Tuesday it was buying an 83.33% stake in Anglo’s closed Dartbrook mine, one of the many assets the mining giant has decided to off-load as part of a major restructuring announced in early December.

Shares in Tinkler’s company rallied on the news, closing 33.33% higher Tuesday in Sydney.

Australian Pacific will pay up to $50 million for the mine, with half to be paid in cash by the end of January, and the balance in the form of royalty payments.

The ASX-listed junior will have to raise $30 million in just a month to fund the deal. The plan is to do so through a share placement, it said.

If the miner fails to raise the money by the end of January 2016, it will have to pay Anglo American a break fee of $1 million.

Tinkler, who once was Australia's youngest billionaire but lost it all when coal prices crumbled, was appointed chief executive of Australian Pacific Coal on Nov. 2 and owns 37.36% of the company.

Last year, he attempted a comeback in mining by trying to acquire Wilkie Creek coal mine from Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU). The deal, however, fell through when Tinkler failed to make a A$70 million closing payment.

Anglo’s Dartbrook mine, has been mothballed since 2006, when it was placed in care and maintenance.

Australian Pacific Coal said it intends to convert it from its existing underground set up to an open cut mine, but will need to get environmental approvals to do so.