AMSJ » $300M coal mine accelerates reopening

$300M coal mine accelerates reopening

Dartbrook Coal Mine
Dartbrook Coal Mine

A resources operation will be revived sooner than expected.

Australian Pacific Coal (AQC) recently fast-tracked restarting its Dartbrook Coal Project, 122km northwest of Newcastle.

AQC has already commenced its three-year, US$60 million (A$90M) debt facility with Vitol Asia. It has also satisfied conditions for drawing down from the facility while the joint venture had A$29M of available cash at the time of publication.

Underground conveyor systems and refurbishment materials for the above ground Coal Handling and Preparation Plant plus train load out have been ordered. Employees have been hired for construction and later production. First coal is expected to be produced sometime in mid-2024.

The proponent believes it could accelerate the project through optimising the mine plan for an additional continuous miner, which would operate in a second panel earlier than planned.

“Modifications are expected to result in increased production in year one and subsequent year sales volumes,” the company said in a public statement.

“Our primary focus will be to bring forward certain ramp-up activities to allow us to commence mining operations in a second panel much earlier than originally planned. We remain confident that this will translate into an increase in production volumes in the project overall,” AQC interim CEO Ayten Saridas added.

The operation has been under care and maintenance since 2006, following multiple workplace accidents and low commodity prices. The Coal Handling Processing Plant will be recommissioned and ventilation circuit reestablished. This is promised to help reinforce the roof and ribs.

AQC previously struck a deal with resources mogul Nathan Tinkler, M Resources, Evolution Capital, and a JV between Tetra Resources and Javelin Private Capital Group.

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