Solid Energy announced yesterday it had chosen Downer to negotiate the arrangement following a request for proposals from a number of mining companies in early December last year.
Solid chief operating officer Barry Bragg said Downer EDI Mining had experience with a range of successful mining alliances.
“They have very strong skills and experience in the industry and, if we are able to reach an agreement, the alliance would allow us to continue the improvements we have begun at Stockton and ensure it can continue contributing to the local and national economy for many years,” he said.
According to Solid Energy, a single management approach would deliver improved performance in health and safety, coal quality management, cost reductions, productivity and the environmental impact of the mine.
Solid hopes to mobilise the plant and recruit staff in September and be operating the mine under the new arrangement from October.
Earlier this year Solid announced it would cut output at the mine by 20% from July 1. Yesterday the company announced a forecasted production of about 1.35 million tonnes in 2009-10, down from 1.8Mt in 2007-08.