Stanmore Coal Limited have announced the re-opening of the Isaac Plains coking coal mine in Central Queensland, which will create about 150 news jobs.
The company has awarded a three year mining contract to Golding Contractors for the restart of the mine, which is on track for 2016.
“Challenging commodity markets have presented an exceptional opportunity for Stanmore and in early 2016 we will become an independent producer of high quality coking coal for export to the steel industry in the region,” managing director Nick Jorss said.
“We are on track for Stanmore’s first coal shipment from Isaac Plains in April 2016, benefiting shareholders and creating approximately 150 new jobs in the Moranbah region. Reopening the Mine will also restart the flow of over $7 million a year in royalties to the State of Queensland in addition to other State and Federal taxes.”
Stanmore is fully funded to commence production with existing cash reserves, significant vendor payments and a US$42 million, two-year interest facility provided by Taurus Mining Finance Fund to cover financial guarantees and contingent working capital if required.
After a competitive tender process spanning five months, Golding was selected based on an all-inclusive pricing structure which categorises activities into three operational areas, being waste removal, coal mining and coal processing.
The new mine plan results in unit FOB cost reductions of around 35 per cent relative to recent mine performance due to an optimised mine plan at a lower throughput which maximises the use of the dragline relative to truck and shovel for overburden removal; mining lower strip ratio coal in the northern pits only; competitive mining contractor and coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) costs in the current marketing environment; and low overheads.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the announcement is “welcome news”.
“Stanmore’s approach and ability to produce high quality coking coal for export at the bottom of the market proves there are still opportunities that exist for the coal industry despite changing and challenging conditions,” Mr Roche said.
“These 150 new jobs come at a critical time for regional Queensland, which has been hard hit by the downturn in the resources sector. Of course, there will also be the further benefit of the jobs and the investment providing a flow-on economic effect in the region.”