The defunct state-owned coal miner Solid Energy has taken a major step towards its final demise, after the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approved the sale of its key assets.
The sale covers its major assets - the Stockton operation on the West Coast and the two Waikato mines, Rotowaro and Maramarua.
The sale of these to a consortium was announced late last year, but needed OIO approval to proceed.
That followed the August 2015 decision to place debt-ravaged Solid Energy into administration - a kind of half way house between receivership and liquidation.
After that, the assets of the company were progressively sold.
Solid Energy Chief Executive Tony King said that this latest deal represented the last major transaction in the company's asset sale process.
"It effectively signals the beginning of the company's wind down process as it heads into solvent liquidation," Mr King said.
Once the sale of those assets to BT Mining was concluded, Solid Energy would progressively complete remaining operational and administrative activities by December 2017 prior to the company going into liquidation by March 2018, he said.
BT Mining is a consortium of Bathurst Resources and Talleys Energy Limited.
The sale is expected to be completed on 31 August.
OIO approval was needed because of Australian interests in Bathurst Resources.