Aquila builds solid foundation

AQUILA Resources spent the 2009 financial year laying the foundations for its coal arm, as it moved closer to developing the Eagle Downs, Belvedere and Washpool projects.
Aquila builds solid foundation Aquila builds solid foundation Aquila builds solid foundation Aquila builds solid foundation Aquila builds solid foundation

Courtesy Aquila Resources.

Angie Tomlinson

The Australian miner posted a net loss after income tax of $A26.2 million for the year as it focused efforts on $64 million worth of exploration and feasibility programs.

Revenue came from its 50% share of the Isaac Plains coal mine, which sold 1.27 million tonnes for the year, giving Aquila $91.8 million.

The company’s attributable gross profit was $32.9 million.

Aquila has completed a feasibility study at Eagle Downs confirming the viability of developing an underground multi-seam longwall mine, initially producing 4.6Mt per annum of hard coking coal from a single longwall and up to 8Mtpa once a second longwall is installed.

The company also started a prefeasibility study into a 9Mtpa multi-longwall operation at Belvedere. Vale must decide by the end of this year if it will exercise its option to acquire Aquila’s remaining share in the project.

Aquila also completed a concept study on the 4Mtpa Washpool hard coking coal project.

The miner solidified its expansion plans last month when it landed an investment deal with China’s largest steel mill.

Baosteel will invest $285.6 million in Aquila via a 15% placement (43.95 million shares) at $6.50.

The deal enables Aquila to fast-track the development of its coal, iron ore and manganese projects.

Under the deal, Baosteel has agreed to work with Aquila to source low-cost financing from Chinese financial institutions for most of its projects.

Baosteel also has a preferential opportunity to directly invest in and co-develop most of Aquila’s projects.

Aquila said with low-cost financing from China and the backing of Baosteel, its advanced projects would be developed on time.

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