03/08/2012 02:03 EST | Updated 05/07/2012 05:12 EDT

Talisman to sell non-core coal assets to Xstrata for US$500 million

CALGARY - Talisman Energy Inc. (TSX:TLM) says it has agreed to sell certain non-producing, non-core coal properties in northeast British Columbia to Xstrata Coal for US$500 million.

The Sukunka coal property is 60 kilometres south of Chetwynd, along the Peace River coalfield that extends 400 kilometres across northeastern British Columbia.

The cash transaction is expected to close later this month.

"This is in keeping with our strategic objective to focus Talisman's portfolio on material, core assets," said Talisman vice-president Paul Smith.

"Unlocking the value from the divestment of this coal property will provide funds to support the objectives announced in our 2012 guidance."

Calgary-based Talisman Energy has three main operating areas in North America, the North Sea and in Southeast Asia.

In October 2011, Australia-based Xstrata Coal agreed to pay $40 million to Cline Mining Corp. to acquire a coal deposit within the Lossan property in northeastern British Columbia.