BHP Billiton finalizes San Juan Mine sale

The Daily Times staff
Entrance portals for the San Juan Mine are visible on Jan. 13 as seen from a service road at the mine in Waterflow

FARMINGTON — BHP Billiton New Mexico Coal announced today that it has finalized the sale of the San Juan Mine for about $127 million to a subsidiary of Westmoreland Coal Company.

Westmoreland San Juan, after more than a year of work, took control of the company today, according to press releases from BHP Billiton and Westmoreland. BHP Billiton had operated the mine — which is the sole supplier of coal for the San Juan Generating Station — for 32 years.

“We’re extremely proud of the legacy New Mexico Coal leaves behind as the San Juan Mine enters a new chapter,” BHP Billiton’s Pat Risner said in the release. “For more than 40 years, the mine has been one of the Four Corners’ major energy product suppliers, a top employer and a significant community partner.”

BHP Billiton will continue working with Westmoreland to "ensure a smooth transition," according to the release.

“The addition of the San Juan Mine further enhances our mine mouth business model, which has been fundamental in providing strong cash generation,” Kevin Paprzycki, Westmoreland’s CEO said in a press release. “We look forward to building upon the solid partnership with the (generating station) team in the years to come.”

Westmoreland has an agreement to continues as sole supplier to the San Juan Generating Station through 2022.

BHP Billiton continues to serve as "mine manager" for the Navajo Mine, which was recently purchased from the company by Navajo Transitional Energy Company. NTEC announced in December that Bisti Fuels Company, a subsidiary of North American Coal Corporation, will take over operations at the Navajo Mine in January 2017.