More than just the headline
CQ miner explains its short and medium term plans for expansion
Wednesday 08 June 2016
While the re-opening of the Isaac Plains coal mine near Moranbah has received a lot of mainstream media attention, Chief Operating Officer for Stanmore Coal, Mike McKee says they are more than a one-trick pony.
Stanmore Coal made headlines last month when it began exporting coal from the previously mothballed Isaac Plains mine which it purchased for the nominal sum of $1, in return for taking on more than $30 million worth of environmental and other costs and liabilities.
However in a presentation to more than 50 local business people at a Resource Industry Network update in Mackay last week, Mr McKee said it was the opportunity presented by the coal next door to Isaac Plains that unlocked the whole deal.
In 2015 Stanmore purchased the Wotonga coal deposit from the now troubled US-based Peabody for around $7 million and then renamed it Isaac Plains East due to its proximity to their more recent mine purchase.
According to Mr McKee, they hope to have a mining lease approved for Isaac Plains East by June next year and together the investments will create longer term mining opportunity.
“Isaac Plains mine has three years of potential with some underground... we regard the Isaac Plains East project as an extension of the existing mine,” he said.
“We have done a lot of work, we have drilled 200 holes there now, it has a very low strip ratio, requires very little capital and the mine will process coal through the existing infrastructure at Isaac Plains.
“It [Isaac Plains East] will be similar in size to Isaac Plains and produce about 1 million tonnes of saleable coal a year.”
Beyond the Bowen Basin, Stanmore Coal remains relatively bullish about the prospects of the less-often talked about Surat Basin where it originally planned to make its mark in coal.
While its tenements in that region have been stranded by the abandonment of the Surat Basin Rail project when Xstrata (now Glencore) abandoned plans for a mega thermal coal mine at Wandoan, Stanmore believes it’s still a great resource
“We have quite a large holding in the Surat Basin,” Mr McKee said.
“We believe that is a future mining province that has great potential; there is a need for clean coal to meet the world's energy demand.”