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.