Natural Resource Partners (NRP) has completed the third of seven acquisitions of coal reserves at the Deer Run mine in Illinois basin for $55m from Colt, an affiliate of the Cline Group.

The acquisition was funded through NRP’s credit facility, and the company has paid $105m of the $255m slated for the acquisition of approximately 200 million tons of reserves.

Future closings will be associated with the completion of certain milestones relating to the new mine’s construction, and NRP anticipates completing additional acquisitions totalling $135m in 2011 and $15m in 2012.

The Deer Run mine is located near Hillsboro in Montgomery and Bond counties, and the coal reserves are leased to the mining company Hillsboro Energy, an affiliate of Cline Group.

Construction of the new longwall mine is well underway with initial production expected by year-end 2010, and longwall production expected to commence in early 2012, NRP said.