Caledon rounds up the year at Cook

CALEDON Resources has detailed the progress of its Cook mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, with the dual-listed company making its first annual net profit of $A8.24 million ($US5.69 million) last year.

Blair Price
Caledon rounds up the year at Cook

The bord and pillar mine is the first in Australia to use the Magatar continuous haulage system, which mined 548,000 tonnes of raw coal for the year, producing 378,000t of coking coal and 66,000t of thermal coal.

Caledon noted annual production was well below the 1.1-1.2 million tonnes originally forecast and attributed this to commissioning problems associated with the new continuous miner and the much slower than expected crossing of two faults in the second half.

However, Caledon said the commissioning issues had been resolved and there were no known major fault crossings planned for this year.

In equipment and capital expenditure for the year, Caledon said it spent $1.4 million overhauling and converting Cook’s own Joy 1212D miner to wide head bolter miner configuration.

The unit was operating at the end of the year in the mine’s new mains development panel for the southern Argo area.

The mine’s Joy 12CM11 miner was recommissioned during the year from the Castor seam area to the Argo seam at pit bottom, with Caledon saying it will be used in a secondary extraction role this year.

The company also forked out $2.8 million to develop the pit bottom access to the southern Argo reserves.

Another $3.4 million was spent on supplementary equipment for the Magatar system along with other new equipment and major refurbishments to support operations.

During 2008, Caledon also spent $3.3 million on its coal processing plant, with the company saying $2.8 million of this figure was spent on re-establishing the collapsed thermal coal reclaim tunnel.

In other equipment activity, Caledon has stopped hiring two ABM 20 continuous miners, one in May 2008 and the other in February this year.

Caledon said two new shuttle cars had been hired in March 2008 with an option to buy, and a decision on the possible purchases would be made shortly.

For mine development, Caledon set up the first Magatar panel in the new south Argo area by the end of 2008.

For the northern mining area, primary extraction of the first panel was almost complete.

Caledon said the mining of this shuttle car panel will be completed on retreat using one of the narrow head continuous miners.

The company’s outlook for the year remains unchanged after slashing almost a third of its workforce by March because of the economic downturn.

Caledon is keeping its minimum 400,000t production forecast for 2009, down from an earlier forecast of 900,000t.

“This downward revision has brought the issue of cost containment into sharp focus with all efforts continuing to be centred on reducing unit costs,” Caledon said.

In other news, Caledon said it was expecting a final report shortly on the development of an underground coal mine at its wholly owned Minyango project, about 15 kilometres from Cook.

The company said the consultants hired for the initial report on the project had concluded it was beyond the concept level and close to pre-feasibility level.

The company’s biggest safety incident last year was in May when an underground miner’s right foot was crushed by a loader, eventually resulting in amputation below the knee.

The employee returned to surface duties early this year.

Shares in Caledon are unchanged at 63c on the Australian Securities Exchange.

The company also has a London listing.


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