Overburden will be removed to just above top-of-coal.
Coal mining will proceed once surface infrastructure is in place and conformity of mining operations and facilities with submitted plans is verified, according to the company.
The equipment in use comprises relatively small capacity excavators and trucks which will progressively be replaced with larger earthmoving equipment as production ramps up.
In other developments the excavation of the first standard type test pit for further validation of coal quality specifications is complete and enables samples to be taken for metallurgical analysis.
“The results are encouraging, indicating a coal type close in specification to prime coking coal,” Guildford said in a statement.
“The quality specification parameters are, at this time, deliberately described in a broad range.
“Guildford will establish more definitive parameters when two further test pits have been sampled and analysed allowing coal quality modelling to be further refined.”
Progress on the remaining test pits has been hampered by difficult digging conditions (unblasted material) and these are now expected to be complete around mid-June.
“Discussions with potential offtake parties regarding coal supply agreements are taking place,” Guildford said.
“When complete this will enable firm unit coal price and revenue assumptions to be made.”
The company says negotiations with suppliers and constructors of mine support facilities including the accommodation camp, workshops, fuel bay, offices and security fencing are at an advanced stage, with construction activities expected to begin in July.