Kestrel is an underground coal mine located in the Bowen Basin, Queensland, Australia. It is operated by Rio Tinto Limited (‘Rio Tinto’). The Group owns 50% of certain sub-stratum lands which, under Queensland law, entitle it to coal royalty receipts from the Kestrel mine.
The royalty rate to which the Group is presently entitled is prescribed by the Queensland Mineral Resources Regulations. These regulations currently stipulate that the basis of calculation is a three-tiered fixed percentage of the invoiced value of the coal as follows: 7% of value up to and including A$100; 12.5% of the value over A$100 and up to and including A$150; and 15% thereafter.
The Group received royalty income of £28.7m from Kestrel during 2017, an increase of 119% compared to £13.1m in 2016 and £3.6m in 2015.
The significant increase in royalty income in 2017 was due to a combination of higher overall tons sold, a much higher portion of these sales from production within the Group’s private royalty land, higher average realised prices and a favourable exchange gain on translating the Australian dollar.