One of the biggest floats on the Australian bourse last year, Aston aims to start mine construction in the December quarter with open cut mining to start in late 2012.
While Aston holds 1.7 million tonnes per annum of port capacity at Newcastle for 2013 and 2014, the company is targeting 10Mtpa of saleable production by 2014.
The explorer has secured just a 5Mtpa port allocation from 2015 but has flagged the possibility of negotiating port arrangements with existing producers.
Despite some of the logistical unknowns, Sedgman is already in negotiations with Aston over contracts for a future ramp up at the proposed mine.
“We are very pleased to be working with Aston Resources and their management company on this very exciting project,” Sedgman managing director and chief executive Nick Jukes said.
“We have already commenced engineering design work and procurement activities for the CHPP and will continue with this work in the coming months, as well as continue with negotiations for the supply, construction and commissioning of the CHPP.”
At full output the mine will hit 13Mtpa run-of-mine, producing a mix of thermal, semi-soft coking and pulverised coal injection coal.
Coal magnate Nathan Tinkler’s $400 million float of Aston last year came nine months after the company bought the Maules Creek project off Rio Tinto subsidiary Coal & Allied for $480 million.
The project holds 610Mt of resources and is aiming for a mine life of 21 years.
Aston shares are down 2.5% to $8.69 this morning.