20% improvement in price
Environmental approval a step toward 40% expansion in the next 18 months
Wednesday 31 January 2018
Stanmore Coal expects to increase the amount of coal it sells in the coming financial year by more than a million tonnes as the Isaac Plains East (IPE) and Isaac Plains Underground (IPU) projects commence.
This week, Stanmore confirmed it had received approval for an amendment to their existing Isaac Plains Environmental Authority, clearing the way for the IPE mining lease they have been working on since July last year.
“The issuing of the EA amendment, execution of Landholder compensation agreements, and the state’s approval of the coordination arrangement with an overlapping gas tenement holder are conditions required for the granting of the IP mining leases,” they said.
“Its anticipated the IPE mining leases will be granted in the coming months.”
The Isaac Plains East (IPE) coal deposit - formerly known as Wotonga - is nearly adjacent to their existing Isaac Plains mining operations, and was purchased from Peabody for around $7 million in 2015.
In its Mining Lease application, Stanmore predicted the coal produced from IPE over the life of the project would be worth around $890 million (assuming long-run average price of US$83.91/t and US$68.23/t for semi-soft coking and thermal products respectively, and average exchange rate of AU$0.77/US$).
While IPE will primarily operate as an extension of the Isaac Plains Mine and will utilise the existing Isaac Plains Mine infrastructure, mining equipment and workforce, Stanmore says it's considering a plan to add a truck and shovel mining fleet to their operations.
They predict this extra fleet would add around $10 a tonne to costs.
However, by putting them to work as soon as possible at IPE, they believe it would put them on track to achieve ROM production of 3.5 million tonnes by around 2020.
Meanwhile, they have appointed consultants to complete a bankable feasibility study into the viability of an underground operation at the existing Isaac Plains mine.
In the short term, however, Stanmore still has production challenges with ROM coal and saleable coal produced down around 35% in the last three months due to a 16-day dragline shutdown and an extended ship queue at the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.
On the bright side, their new quarterly advanced benchmark coal price for the first three months of this year is $US143/t which is up around 20% on where it was in the last quarter.
They have also contract loaded about 190 thousand tonnes of coal for TerraCom who are using their train loadout facilities until they find a better solution to load coal from the Blair Athol coal mine.