Stanmore Coal says its Isaac Plains mine near Moranbah in Central Queensland is on track to produce its first coal shipments in April.
The company awarded a three-year mining contract in December to Golding Contractors, who assume full site responsibilities from this week.
Production drilling and coal processing plant refurbishment work began in January, according to Stanmore’s latest quarterly activities report.
In preparation for the operational handover to Golding, Stanmore also overhauled the site’s Bucyrus 1370W dragline.
Stanmore Coal is targeting an initial production rate of 1.1Mt per annum at Isaac Plains, which contains a JORC resource of 30.1Mt with open-cut JORC reserves of 5.0Mt.
Stanmore Coal bought the coking coal operation from Vale and Sumitomo Corporation last year, when it also acquired the adjacent Isaac Plains East tenement (formerly known as Wotonga).
During the last quarter of 2015 the company commenced an extensive confirmatory exploration program for the Isaac Plains East mine expansion, including core drilling, 2D seismic analysis and line of oxidation (LOX) definition, to deliver detailed coal quality and geological information.
Stanmore said this was anticipated to inform mining feasibility studies and a maiden JORC Resource. The results of the exploration program are expected in the first half of 2016.