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Stanmore mum on first customer
STARS aligning for Stanmore’s goal of first coal in April.
Wednesday 09 March 2016  

Stanmore Coal is quietly optimistic that they will finalise deals with enough contract customers over the coming months to start exporting coal from their newly acquired Isaac Plains coalmine south of Moranbah.

The company made the comments today, following their announcement earlier in the week that they had reached a significant coal supply agreement with a major Asian steel maker.

Chief Financial Officer Andrew Roach told Shift Miner they would like to say more about the new deal, but market realities mean they can’t.

“For a lot of the big coal buyers there is a strong commercial benefit to keeping the details of their supply agreements confidential - and in fact, confidentiality is hard wired into the contract,” he told Shift Miner.

“However we are in discussions with some other businesses, and once we have those finalised, we are hoping that we can say something more high level about where the coal is going in aggregate.

“But we are well progressed with a number of those discussions, and we don't need too many production parcels under contract for us to start selling.”

Stanmore has begun moving overburden following the commissioning of its dragline last month, and primary contractor Goldings is well advanced in its recruitment of around 150 people to the site.

The only obstacle now to physically mine and export coal from Isaac Plains is commissioning of the Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHHP) that Mr Roach says is close to completion.

“In an ideal world we would get all our contracted sales squared away soon and be ready to start exporting,” he said.

“But there may be a bit more negotiating over those contracts that might mean the timing may not line up perfectly.

“However we are in the last furlong for getting the CHHP operational, and we expect that to be completed in a matter of weeks and once that is completed it should be full steam ahead in a mining sense.”

Stanmore began blasting overburden at Isaac Plains in February following the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection signing off on their mining plan in late January.

In July last year, Stanmore Coal purchased the mine which was then in care and maintenance for just $1 from Japan-based Sumitomo Corporation. Sumitomo also loaned Stanmore money to cover contractual obligations, that Stanmore will repay when the mine is operating.

In 2011, Sumitomo Corporation paid $430 million for a half share in the Isaac Plains mine.

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