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[SYDNEY] Swiss commodities giant Glencore on Thursday said it was selling its Hunter Valley coal haulage business to an American firm for A$1.14 billion (S$1.21 billion) as it pushes to reduce its daunting debt mountain.
Glencore in August posted first-half losses of US$369 million, and has been reining in spending, scrapping dividends and closing operations across the world amid a commodity price slump.
The trader and miner had been battling to avoid collapsing under debt that stood at some US$30 billion in 2015.
Glencore's head of coal assets Peter Freyberg said his firm welcomed the sale of its Glencore Rail (GRail) coal haulage business, the third-biggest in Australia, in Hunter Valley in New South Wales state to the Australian subsidiary of US rail operator Genesee & Wyoming.
The deal, which is subject to approval by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board, will see Genesee & Wyoming Australia manage most of Glencore's coal haulage requirements in the region for the next two decades.
Genesee & Wyoming Australia said it already operates almost 5,000km of rail track in South Australia state and the Northern Territory.