TerraCom says it plans to start mining next month at the Blair Athol coal operation, near Clermont.
Subsidiary Orion Mining had received confirmation from the Queensland Government that it had satisfied the conditions and would now proceed as a matter of urgency to complete the title transfer process, the company said in an announcement to the market today.
Orion Mining chairman Jim Soorley described the approval as great news for TerraCom and even better news for the community of Clermont and the state of Queensland, with up to $85 million in taxes and royalties to flow from the re-opened mine operation (based on current coal prices).
“We plan to recommence mining in June with more than 600 direct and indirect jobs expected to be generated in the local and regional communities,” he said.
“We will move our corporate office to Clermont to be close to the mine and demonstrate that we are serious about our commitment to support the local community.
“TerraCom has had strong interest from customers in North Asia for Blair Athol Coal. Over the next seven years we plan to export $1.2 billion in product – assuming current prices – delivering enormous value to TerraCom shareholders.”
TerraCom acquired the mothballed Blair Athol site last year for $1 and the Queensland Government will receive $79.6 million from the previous operators – Blair Athol Coal Joint Venture (BACJV) – to meet the mine’s rehabilitation requirements.
TerraCom has undertaken to commence more than 50ha of site rehabilitation while bringing the mine back into production.
“The transfer has been subject to an extensive and exhaustive process of review with numerous State Government agencies confirming that TerraCom has the human, technical and financial capacity to operate Blair Athol,” Mr Soorley said.
“Coupled with $93.1 million in financial assurances, the approval is positive proof that TerraCom has the capacity to successfully rehabilitate and mine Blair Athol.”
The operation, under TerraCom management, is planned to deliver about 2Mtpa over seven years and ongoing progressive rehabilitation.
It announced last year that Link Mining Services had been awarded the contract for Blair Athol operations and would stump up $11.6 million for material mining and beneficiation recommencement costs at the site.
Working at Blair Athol
TerraCom and LINK plan to directly engage about 90 people from June at the mine site, to be supplemented with support contractors and consultants to assist with the recommencement of operations. Supplemental roles will be engaged as the mine develops its production profile, exploration and rehabilitation scopes.
TerraCom says substantial recruitment has already occurred with both TerraCom and LINK ready to engage.
There is a key focus for the Blair Athol employees to reside within the Clermont community.