Miner sets reopening timeline
NEWS a shot in the arm for Dawson Valley community.
Wednesday 23 November 2016
The new owners of Cockatoo Coal are aiming to restart the Baralaba coal mine around April next year.
The mine has been in care & maintenance since February. However, the mines owners have used this time to get approvals, finance and capital works in order which will allow them to restart in 2017 and steadily increase output to around 3.5 million tonnes a year over the next five years (subject to coal prices).
Among the capital works being undertaken at Baralaba, are the $2.5 million replacement of the Banana Creek Bridge which is due for completion next month, and the $11.6 million Dawson highway overpass and train load out facility which contractors Golding expect to complete by around April 2017.
According to Cockatoo’s Interim CEO Bryan Wyatt, the new Baralaba mine plan and recovering coal prices will put the operation back in the black.
“Cockatoo looks forward to restarting the mine in 2017, and providing a safe and secure place to work for our employees and a profitable operation for our shareholders,” he said.
In March, the Queensland Government granted Cockatoo a 25-year mining lease (ML 80201) for the Baralaba North mine which the company says is critical to their longer term goal of producing approximately 3.5Mtpa of saleable coal.
Cockatoo was forced into administration last year by collapsing coal prices and costs associated with their Baralaba North expansion plans which they commenced during better times.
However, in May, US-based shareholder - Liberty Metals & Mining Holdings - offered creditors of Cockatoo Coal a life-line rescue package worth around $100 million.
Seventy-eight million of the $100 million debt facility provided by the rescue package went toward paying former employees and other small unsecured creditors.
However, large unsecured creditors like the remaining partners in the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) and Aurizon had to write off millions of dollars of bad debt.