In its September quarter report, Felix said negotiations with longwall equipment suppliers had “progressed satisfactorily”.
The Ashton underground development, near the operating Ashton opencut mine in New South Wales, will produce two million tonnes per annum with ramp-up expected in 2007.
Felix completed the development’s underground feasibility study during the quarter, which included a longhole drilling program which confirmed the resource and suitability for underground mining.
Felix owns three operating mines, Yarrabee (100%), Ashton (60%) and Minerca (70%). Group production for the September quarter was 864,700 tonnes.
Sales, at 453,200t, did not meet production but the company said coal stocks would be re-balanced in coming months with an increased number of shipments planned.