Hanson and Santa Fe to swap gold and coal assets

HANSON INDUSTRIES, the US arm of the Anglo-American conglomerate, has agreed its much- flagged gold-for-coal swap with Santa Fe, the US railroad and mining group.

Santa Fe will exchange its coal and quarry assets for Hanson's Gold Fields Mining Company, which operates mines in Nevada and California.

Hanson will receive Santa Fe's Lee ranch surface coal mine near Albuquerque, New Mexico, with 700 million tons of coal, and six aggregate quarries in the western and south-western US.

Santa Fe will get gold mines in Nevada and California and rights to several exploration sites.

The Santa Fe companies made pre-tax profits of about dollars 53m ( pounds 35m) in 1991, with tangible net assets of about dollars 131m. Gold Fields Mining's tangible assets are valued at dollars 150m, and the company made pre-tax profits of dollars 52m on turnover of dollars 189m in the year to last October.

The coal assets will be managed by Hanson's Peabody company, which already has 8 billion tons of reserves.

Analysts said the Santa Fe reserves were low-sulphur coal, which is more valuable because it is less polluting, whereas a lot of the Peabody reserves have higher sulphur contents.

The deal has still to be approved by US regulators, who may ask questions about the tax-free status of the deal.

Martin Taylor, Hanson's deputy chairman, said he did not expect the deal to have significant financial implications for the group.

'We are the largest producer of coal in the United States and this deal strengthens our hand,' he said.

He dismissed concerns that carbon tax legislation in the US might hit the group's coal interests. 'Coal is used to produce more electricity in the US than any other fuel and further taxes will just make the price rise.'

Earlier, at Hanson's annual meeting in London, Lord Hanson, the chairman, would not comment on the company's interest in bidding for British Coal assets.

Questioned by shareholders, he said: 'We believe that coal has a great future.'

He said it would be inappropriate to comment on British Coal until the Government had decided what its plans were.

However, in reply to another question he said that a large acquisition of 'a new principal business is something we would like to do'.

Lord White, 70, who runs the US half of the Hanson empire, was unable to attend the meeting because of illness.

Hanson shares rose 6 1/2p to 243 1/2p.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate