Cockatoo on track for Baralaba expansion

COCKATOO Coal plans to ramp up production at it Baralaba open-pit mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin to 2.8 million tonnes of coal per annum by 2014.
Cockatoo on track for Baralaba expansion Cockatoo on track for Baralaba expansion Cockatoo on track for Baralaba expansion Cockatoo on track for Baralaba expansion Cockatoo on track for Baralaba expansion

The Baralaba mine.

Lauren Barrett

At the company’s annual general meeting yesterday, Cockatoo Coal managing director Mark Lochtenberg said a bankable feasibility study for the Baralaba expansion would be completed in mid 2012.

The BFS would support a staged increased production at the mine, with stage one ramping up to 750,000tpa in 2012, stage two increasing to 2.8Mtpa and stage 3 increasing to 9.9Mtpa by 2017.

The coal would be a combination of PCI and thermal coal.

While severe wet weather resulted in the Baralaba pit flooding last December, Lochtenberg said the mine had now returned to pre-flood production rates since September, with the mine producing 181,08t of coal in the 2011 financial year.

Lochtenberg said: “Baralaba’s recovery to normal production rates from September marked a major challenge being overcome.”

Sales from the mine recently skyrocketed, rising to $51,870 at the end of September 2011 compared to $29,585 in the previous quarter, due to shipments of PCI coal to long term customers being restored.

Lochtenberg said major company highlights for 2011 included acquiring a 51% interest in the Taroom and Collingwood Surat Basin projects and increasing its Surat Basin JORC-compliant resources by 107% from 2010.

Acquiring 3Mtpa of port allocation for stage 1 of the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal was also labeled a pivotal step in the planned expansion of the Baralaba mine.

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