Anglo American has invested more than A$240 million with suppliers for its Aquila metallurgical coal project in Central Queensland which will be one the world’s most technologically advanced underground mines. Aquila forms part of the Capcoal Joint Venture between Anglo American (70%) and Mitsui & Co. Ltd (30%).
Aquila will extend the life of Anglo American’s existing Capcoal underground operations near Middlemount by six years and continue to utilise the associated infrastructure at the Capcoal complex as its nearby Grasstree Mine approaches end of life.
Anglo American has awarded nearly $200 million to six longwall equipment suppliers to deliver a walk-on, walk-off system using two complete longwalls, a $20 million overland conveyor system and more than $20 million in civil works.
The project, which is on-time, includes a $5 million reverse osmosis water treatment system to increase the use of recycled water and reduce the reliance on fresh water at the mine – a key target in Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan.
Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, Tyler Mitchelson, said the project was on track for first longwall production of premium quality hard coking coal in early 2022.
“Our Aquila project is progressing well, with support from its Queensland-based workforce and contracting partners,” Mr Mitchelson said.
“More than 90 per cent of our Aquila contracts have been awarded to Queensland-based suppliers, and we currently have around 500 people working on the project in engineering, surface construction and underground development.
“Aquila will be a breakthrough project, designed to set a new standard of safety and performance by leveraging technology and focusing on operational improvements.
“The mine will showcase our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining, with a remote operating centre on the surface of the mine, proximity detection systems underground to alert machine operators to pedestrians and the continued digitisation of our operations, using new technologies such as our Australian-first intrinsically safe underground electronic tablets.”
In addition to the aforementioned construction contacts, Anglo American awarded a $95 million mining development contract to Mackay-based mining company, Mastermyne in 2019.
Last financial year, Anglo American invested $2.83 billion with Queensland suppliers, which was 77 per cent of the company’s total expenditure in Australia.
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