Cockatoo restores production at Baralaba

QUEENSLAND coal producer Cockatoo Coal has increased production at its Baralaba mine in the Bowen Basin to 256,955 tonnes for the half year ended December 31, up 62% from the previous corresponding period.
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The Baralaba mine.

Lauren Barrett

The increase was achieved despite the operation being adversely affected by the reparation work which was carried out following flooding at the pit in 2010.

With the mine’s operations fully restored by the end of the half year, the mine managed to produce 62,383t of coal during the month of December, surpassing past production levels for the month.

More than 90% of the coal mined was pulverised coal injection coal.

With production now stabilised, the mine managed to produce 67,224t of coal in January 2012.

Cockatoo is hoping to maintain the mine’s robust production figures of late in the absence of extreme wet weather.

Total coal sales from Baralaba for the half year reached 262,924t.

Cockatoo said the last half of 2011 represented significant growth and development for the company, with a number of objectives being achieved.

Among the achievements include advancing the feasibility studies for the expansion of its Baralaba operation to utilise the three million tonnes per annum of stage 1 port allocation at the Wiggins Island coal export terminal.

The miner also progressed with its Bowen and Surat Basin exploration activities.

Four exploration rigs were stationed at the company’s Bowen Basin projects during the half year, carrying out various programs for open hole drilling, coal quality corking for raw coal as well as geotechnical drilling.

The total JORC reserves for its Bowen Basin tenements stand at 33.4Mt while its JORC resources total 1.584Mt, up 4Mt over the half year.

Its Surat Basin JORC reserves total 300.8Mt.

The company recorded a profit of $3.6 million for the half year.

The miner, which has a large portfolio of coal tenements in Queensland, is aiming to produce 2.8Mt of coal in 2014, ramping up to 9.9Mt by 2016.