Where’s Callide headed?
NEW owners plan to fly “under the radar” in Central Queensland.
Wednesday 01 March 2017
Three months after private company Batchfire Resources took control of the Callide mine near Biloela, it remains unclear what the future holds.
In November last year, Batchfire purchased the mine from Anglo American on a private walk-in-walk-out basis, which included all plant and equipment.
However, in response to queries from Shift Miner as to how the transition was going, a spokesperson said that being a private company they were: “happiest flying under the radar”.
Callide is an open cut Dragline, truck and excavator operation comprising four pits: Dunn Creek, Trap Gully, The Hut and Boundary Hill.
Run of Mine reserves are approximately 220 Mt of domestic and export thermal quality coal, with an additional 525 Mt of mineable in-situ resources outside the current mine layout.
Between 400 and 500 miners plus contractors are employed at the mine, making it one of Biloela’ biggest employers.
Back in late 2015, the mines former owners Anglo American sacked 40 miners and stopped work on the Boundary Hill expansion which would have extended mine life by around 20 years.
Batchfire isn’t releasing details to Shift Miner on whether it plans to resume that development work.
However, Chief Executive Officer, Peter Westerhuis did say late last year they met with their workforce to provide details about where they're headed.
“Batchfire’s acquisition is on a ‘walk-out, walk-in’ basis meaning that Callide Mine will continue to operate uninterrupted,” Mr Westerhuis said in 2016.
“Our priority is to engage with the Callide workforce, contractors, suppliers and the broader community to ensure the smoothest possible transition after six years of uncertainty over the mine’s future direction, which I can assure them is positive.”
The callide operation is unique in Central Queensland mining, in so far that most of the coal it produces is sold under contract to CS Energy for generating electricity at the Callide Power Station.
The contract price (which was recently renegotiated) is linked to global coal prices, so new owners Batchfire Resources will have enjoyed a significant rally in their contract price since they bought the mine.