The awards, presented by Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps at the Mining 2014 convention in Brisbane, recognised both companies for building up the future of Queensland’s resources sector.
QCoal was recognised for its commitment to expanding its operations near Collinsville, in the Bowen Basin, and its strong pipeline of greenfield developments was also highlighted.
The company exports four million tonnes of coal from its existing Sonoma, Cows and Drake mines, and plans to hit 20Mt in 2020, with the Byerwen project slated to be a significant contributor.
Byerwen is in the final stages of the approval process, and will supply 10Mt of hard coking coal once fully operational.
“Our strong project pipeline is a direct result of over 20 years of uninterrupted exploration in QLD,” QCoal managing director Christopher Wallin said.
“In addition to continuous investment in greenfield exploration, we have a strong focus on efficiency across our operations and this makes our projects sustainable at long run coal prices.”
In accepting the award, Wallin thanked QCoal’s operating partners Leighton, Sedgman and SAB Mining for their strong performance.
Minotaur was named explorer of the year after finding the Artemis copper, gold and zinc discovery, located 50 kilometres southeast of Cloncurry, in July.
The company pipped other finalists Hammer Metals and Senex Energy to take the annual award.
Artemis is part of the Eloise Copper joint venture with Breakaway Resources (50%), and has $6 million behind it until June 2015 to drive further exploration.
Minotaur said the accelerated campaign was one of the most intense exploration schedules in state’s resource sector
The program includes new ground geophysics and deep drilling in an area 20km west of the producing Eloise copper mine.
It follows the JV’s discovery hole earlier this year, which returned a zone of massive sulphides with high-grade copper peaks above 5%, including 22m at 3% copper, 3.8 grams per tonne gold, 112gpt silver and 6.6% zinc from 157m.
Minotaur MD Andrew Woskett said the award recognised the success of the company’s technical team in re-appraising the Eloise tenements and applying modern techniques to deliver results within seven months of acquisition.
The JV has assigned two diamond drill rigs to the site from this week to follow up the initial results with a new 50-hole program totalling 20,000m.