McCrae defends TerraCom bid for Blair Athol

TERRACOM executive chairman Cameron McRae has hit back at the Lock the Gate group, which questioned the company’s ability to develop the Blair Athol mine and undertake the required rehabilitation after it announced plans to buy the Queensland mine for $1 from Rio Tinto.

Lou Caruana

Upon completion of the potential acquisition of Blair Athol mine and the successful transfer of mining title, TerraCom plans to commence over 50 hectares of site rehabilitation while bringing the mine back into production. Coal mining is being scheduled around a rate of 2 million tonnes per annum with a target of operations recommencing in the 4th quarter 2016.

“TerraCom plans to use best practice community and stakeholder engagement through the establishment of a Community Consultative Committee which will have representatives from all key stakeholders groups,” McCrae said.

“The company plans to build a strong relationship with the local indigenous groups through implementation of a Cultural and Heritage Management Plan.

“TerraCom strongly believes in supporting the local community and plans to employ as far as practicable local skilled people. There are no plans to use fly-in fly-out.”

TerraCom plans to establish its Australian Corporate Office in Clermont/Blair Athol when the sale transaction completes.

“Blair Athol is a viable and solid investment. It’s reopening represents great news for the local community, but also the state in terms of taxes and royalties on a high quality thermal coal resource which is clean and low on impurities that is attractive to buyers, but that otherwise may remain in the ground,” McCrae said.

“The viability of the investment is linked to the quality of the assets acquired, the industry cost base settling lower and the weaker dollar providing some revenue benefits. Underpinning this is of course the significant contribution to rehabilitation that the current owners have provided through Financial Assurance which will be held in an Escrow Account in favour of the Queensland government.

“An independent miner like TerraCom operating a smaller scale operation with lower cost structures – even at current coal prices – would be able to mine the last remaining coal at a profitable level.”

TerraCom has the technical capability to successfully operate and rehabilitate the Blair Athol mine, according to McCrae.

“It has an executive team with demonstrated capacity and long term experience in operating complex coal mining operations both in Queensland and in other environments globally,” he said.

Most read Archive



Most read Archive