ILN was told by a WDS spokesperson that the two companies are locked in mediation and WDS would release a public announcement once the issues were resolved.
WDS first announced in April it was in a dispute resolution process with Peabody in relation to contracted work and amounts paid under the contract at Metropolitan.
The contractor previously advised that Peabody had suspended operations at the site in its business update on March 23.
“Peabody has sought to terminate its contract,” WDS said in a statement in April.
“WDS disputes the validity of the termination, has affirmed the contract and will be defending the claims made by Peabody Energy.
“WDS expected to undertake work on this project to a value of $5.3 million before the end of the financial year.”
Peabody did not get back to ILN regarding the dispute in time for publication.
The scope of WDS contract work at Metropolitan includes gate road development comprising 7.5km of driveage; supply of management, operators and equipment; coal driveage and primary roof support; panel and belt moves; and secondary support, ventilation, roadworks, services and excavations.
Peabody global chief executive Gregory Boyce highlighted the company’s plans for the Metropolitan mine at a recent analysts’ briefing in the United States.
“The Metropolitan mine modernisation is on schedule but the completion of the expansion is now targeted for 2014 to 2015 to enable higher volumes than earlier projected,” he said.