Whitehaven buys Aston for $3bn

Whitehaven Coal has agreed to take over Aston Resources and another miner in a $3bn deal to create Australia’s biggest independent coal miner, looking for scale as it taps into booming Asian coal demand. Whitehaven will get Aston’s 75 per cent stake in the Maules Creek project close to Whitehaven’s mines in New South Wales state, which will help boost production from 6m tonnes a year in 2012 to 25m tonnes a year by 2016.