The Company has lodged an application to modify the existing mining approval to recommence underground mining operations at the Dartbrook Coal Mine in New South Wales. The Company has assessed various underground mining methods and options available to it over the past 18 months to deliver a capital light, agile, and stand-alone mining operation.
The modification proposes bord and pillar mining of the Kayuga coal seam (as an alternative to the approved longwall mining activities) and changes to the method of transferring coal to the train loadout facility. The modification also seeks to extend the period of approval by 5 years (until 5 December 2027).
The proposed bord and pillar mining will consist of only first workings. The modification will not increase the footprint of approved mining operations nor involve restart of the existing coal washery. The modification will not alter the approved mining activities in the other coal seams.
The Company anticipates the environmental assessment, along with other supporting documentation, will be submitted in May 2018. Determination of the application is anticipated in the September 2018 quarter and first production within six months thereafter. Discussions with potential mining contractors, equipment suppliers and coal end users will continue to progress in line with the Company’s preparation to recommence mining at Dartbrook.