TerraCom subsidiary Orion Mining has reached agreement to buy the mothballed Blair Athol coal mine, with the current owners providing $80 million to meet the mine’s rehabilitation liability.
TerraCom said it planned to commence more than 50ha of site rehabilitation while bringing the mine back into production.
TerraCom chairman Cameron McRae said the company was targeting fourth quarter 2016 for first coal.
Blair Athol mine would reopen once all approvals were finalised in coming months, Mr McRae said.
“An application for the transfer of the mining lease will be submitted soon to the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines for consideration,” he said.
“The reopening of Blair Athol will be a win for the community of Clermont and the Isaac Regional Council area, with more than 100 new jobs expected to be created.”
TerraCom has indicated that the life of Blair Athol is forecast to be five years, with a production rate around two million tonnes per annum.
Mr McRae said TerraCom had strengthened its balance sheet, its management team, and was a current mining operator with its mine in Mongolia producing high-quality coking coal.
“We are confident of becoming a much stronger company and the acquisition of Blair Athol will assist with that,” Mr McRae said.
“We have the technical and financial capability to undertake the project, including senior staff and contractors who have decades of experience in mine management, environmental management, and rehabilitation.
“As an example, our vice-president operations David Stone has extensive mine industry experience and has held senior positions at MIM, Anglo American and Xstrata. Our chief development officer Julien Lawrence has worked for BHP-Billiton, Xstrata and Leightons through Australia and Asia and oversaw, for TerraCom, the commissioning of the BNU coal project in South Gobi.
“Julien currently lives in Clermont, Central Queensland, and David has lived and worked in Central Queensland for many years. They have national and international experience, know the local community and know the Blair Athol mine.”
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker has stated publicly that while it was “early stages” the region should be encouraged by the move.