Street Talk understands sell-side adviser Credit Suisse has been meeting with potential suitors in recent weeks and plans to open a data room in early October.
First round bids will be due in late November allowing for an eight week period in the data room.
Parties said to be in-and-around the process include mining giant Anglo American, ASX-listed Whitehaven Coal, global buy-out firm Apollo Global Management, Russia's Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK) and specialist resources private equity firm EMR Capital.
Rio's Hail Creek open cut mine is located south-west of Mackay in central Queensland and supplies hard coking and thermal coal. The company's website says Rio manages the operation on behalf of joint venture partners Queensland Coal, Nippon Steel Australia, Marubeni Coal and Sumisho Coal Development.
The Kestrel mine is an underground operation located north-east of Emerald in central Queensland and supplies coking and thermal coal.
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