A feasibility study on the Eagle Downs Coal Project is due for release in the June quarter after Aquila increased the project’s JORC-compliant resource to 878 million tones, and a pre-feasibility program has continued at Belvedere.
Eagle Downs, near Moranbah in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, is a prospective underground operation planned to produce 7Mt per annum from two longwalls.
Construction is slated for late 2010, with production beginning in 2012.
A number of reports contributing to the feasibility study are close to completion, including a surface infrastructure and coal handling report from SKM, coal preparation by Asenco, geotechnical evaluation by International Mining Consultants, and gas and ventilation evaluation by Geogas and Roy Moreby.
At Belvedere, in the southern Bowen Basin, a field exploration program is continuing with drilling being carried out by Boart Longyear.
Work has also started on evaluation of alternative mining options.
Belvedere is a potential multi-longwall operation producing 7-9Mtpa of coking coal.
At another of Aquila’s development projects, Red Hill, the company has increased the resource to 83.4Mt.
Preparations for the next exploration phase at Red Hill are now underway, including possible introduction of a joint venture partner.
Red Hill is also a potential longwall mine with planned production of 3-4Mtpa.
At Aquila’s producing Isaac Plains open cut mine, sales increased 56% for the quarter with production the only constraint.
“Sales were a mixture of spot and contract arrangements, with significant demand emanating from China for the Isaac Plains coking coal,” Aquila said.
Sales for the June quarter are expected to be a record based on the shipping schedule.
Aquila was trading up 2.8% mid-morning today at $A3.27.