Baralaba ramping up to 1Mtpa

COCKATOO Coal’s Baralaba mine in Queensland is on track to producing 1 million tonnes per annum of ultra-low volatile PCI coal after producing a total of 209,165t in the September quarter.

Lou Caruana

Production decreased at Baralaba Central, and after the end of the quarter all operations were transferred to the Baralaba North mine.

Final thermal coal sales totalling 36,779t were made during the quarter and all future coal sales are now expected to be ultra-low volatile PCI coal.

The high strip ratio at Baralaba North of 21.3 during the September quarter is due to initial pre-stripping of the Outrigger pit, the company said.

The inherent strip of the Outrigger pit is 8.79 and the forecast strip ratio for the next quarter is 14.74.

Cockatoo Coal managing director Andrew Lawson said the quarter was one of significant progress for the company.

“We have transitioned operations from Baralaba Central to Baralaba North throughout the period and I am confident that we will continue to maintain a production rate of close to 1 million tonnes per annum for the current financial year,” he said.

“I am also pleased that stage 1 of the expansion has been completed on time, and more importantly under budget.

“We continue to move swiftly through the approvals process to allow for the increase to 3.5 million tonnes per annum.

“Although we have suffered under the poor coal price environment that has existed this calendar year, and this has impacted our funding situation, we continue to progress the project while also judiciously managing our cashflow with the support of our major shareholders.”