By HARRY CLARKE
TWO adjoining coal mines which have been laying dormant in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin for two years have been given a new lease of life.
Stanmore Coal has announced that MetRes, a 50-50 joint venture between Stanmore and M Resources, has fully acquired the Millennium and Mavis Downs coal mines near Moranbah.
More than 150 jobs are expected to be created after operations resume next month. Including rehabilitation, the predicted life of the mine is 22 years.
The mines will feature a mix of open cut, high wall and underground mining methods used for the extraction of high-quality metallurgical coal.
The project will have a total production of 13.9 million tonnes of coal during its lifespan.
“Auger mining is scheduled to commence August 2021, with rail and port logistics contracts executed providing a clear path to delivery allowing the company to take advantage of favourable market conditions,” Stanmore’s board said in a statement.
A statement in April following the sale announcement said “restarting the Millennium and Mavis Downs Mine represents a low capital and quick to market investment opportunity in a high-quality metallurgical coal asset, supported by access to existing critical infrastructure.”
The mines were previously owned by Peabody Energy Australia but have been mothballed since operations ceased in mid-2019.
Under the acquisition, MetRes will be required to undertake rehabilitation obligations estimated at $25.7 million, with Peabody reimbursing $12.5 million of incurred rehabilitation costs over a two-year period.
State Resources Minister Scott Stewart (pictured above) said the investment was a sign of growing confidence in Queensland’s resources sector.
“The resources sector supports more than 84,000 jobs across Queensland and represents $44 billion in exports,” he said.
“The sector has played a vital role in supporting jobs during the pandemic and will continue to do so into the future.
“Queensland is naturally blessed with the world’s highest quality metallurgical coal, which the world needs to make steel.
“Even as the world transitions to renewables, metallurgical coal for steel will remain an essential and valuable international export commodity for Queensland.”