Cloud Peak and Ambre fail, so far, to work out terms for Decker mine

Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE: CLD) and Australia’s Ambre Energy Ltd. said Aug. 28 that Ambre Energy’s purchase of Cloud Peak Energy’s 50% interest in the Decker strip coal mine in Montana is not expected to be completed for the foreseeable future.

The potential transaction was initially announced by the companies in December 2012. At that time, the companies said they had entered into agreements for Ambre Energy to purchase Cloud Peak Energy’s 50% interest in Decker and related assets and assume all reclamation liabilities, including Ambre Energy’s full replacement of Cloud Peak Energy’s approximate $70.7m in outstanding reclamation and lease bonds for Decker.

Those uncompleted agreements also provided, among other things, that Ambre Energy would grant Cloud Peak Energy an option for up to 5 million tonnes per year of its throughput capacity at the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export facility in the Pacific Northwest and would make a future cash payment to Cloud Peak Energy.

This potential transaction has not been completed and is not expected to be completed in the foreseeable future. Cloud Peak Energy provided an update in its Form 10-Q filing dated July 30 that the timing of any potential closing was uncertain and might depend on Ambre’s ability to replace Cloud Peak Energy’s outstanding reclamation and lease bonds for Decker. The companies continue discussions and have jointly dismissed the previously disclosed Decker litigation without prejudice.

Cloud Peak Energy is headquartered in Wyoming and is one of the largest U.S. coal producers and the only pure-play Powder River Basin coal company. The company owns and operates three surface coal mines in the PRB outside of Decker. The Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines are located in Wyoming and the Spring Creek mine is located near Decker, Mont.

Ambre Energy is a privately held company with predominantly Australian and U.S. shareholders. It is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, with U.S. headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ambre Energy is developing new port infrastructure in the U.S. to facilitate an emerging coal export and marketing business, as well as operating and co-owning U.S. thermal coal mines.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.