The 7% increase in annual marketable coal production for Vista is a major boost for the company, following the completion of a bullish feasibility study published in January.
The optimization study was undertaken by CPG Resources and formed part of the ongoing engineering work at Vista.
It included an analysis of the relationship between the clean coal production potential from Vista compared to the annual plant operating hours.
The study found the clean coal production was capable of operating at 7320 hours per year compared to 6835 hours per year estimated in the feasibility study.
The increase in operating hours is possible through enhanced scheduling between mining operations and the CPP and an optimized maintenance program.
An increase in production is tipped to decrease mine operating costs by C4c per ton over Vista’s 30-year mine life.
Coalspur managing director Gene Wusaty welcomed the positive news.
“The results of the optimization study reflect Vista’s status as a world-class, tier-one mining project that will be a strategic supplier of thermal coal to the Asian markets,” Wusaty said.
“The increased production rate further enhances the economics of Vista as it will require a minimal amount of capital investment and will decrease ongoing operating costs.”
The Vista thermal coal project has the potential to be the largest export thermal coal mine in North America, covering approximately 9984 hectares.
The development of Vista will be split into two phases, with phase 1 scheduled to begin in 2015, producing 5Mtpa.