Work is set to get underway soon on a new underground development project at the Shell Coal-operated German Creek complex in central Queensland. Original mine plans point to the Grasstree resource, some 10km from current underground workings, as the next major development area. Shell is expected to contract out work on the required 10km of development drivage, as it did at Moranbah North, by the middle of next year.
ILN understands the Aquila seam will be accessed from the main workings at Southern Colliery, enabling existing conveyor infrastructure to be utilised. Output from Grasstree will eventually replace production from Central and Southern. The key issue is whether Shell decides to develop Grasstree as a stand-alone operation, a decision which could provide the opportunity to establish a greenfields site with a new enterprise agreement.