PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Unlisted coal miner Centennial Coal this week reported that it would place its Angus Place mine, in New South Wales, on care and maintenance during November this year.
The miner said that the decision to close Angus Place was taken in response to the prolonged downturn in the international coal markets.
The mine, which has been operating for more than 30 years, produces up to four-million tonnes of coal a year, and employs a workforce of 268.
The mine is adjacent to Centennial’s Springvale mine, and the Banpu subsidiary has suggested that a portion of the Angus Place workforce would be redeployed at Springvale, where plans were in place to increase production from its current 4.5-million tonnes a year, as part of efforts to improve productivity and reduce costs.
It is expected that approximately 100 members of the existing Angus Place workforce would be redeployed to Centennial’s Clarence mine and Springvale under the proposed expansion.
The ramp-up in production was currently awaiting joint venture (JV) approval.
Centennial said that the decision to increase production at Springvale, by effectively delivering a second longwall operation to the mine, was essential if the JV was to sustain its competitiveness following the reduction in domestic coal demand in the Western region as a result of the suspension of operations at Wallerawang power station, and lower export prices flowing from the currently over-supplied export thermal coal market.
Meanwhile, Centennial said that while on care and maintenance, the Angus Place mine would continue to meet safety and environmental regulations and the site will be appropriately maintained to enable a reopening when the Springvale reserves are exhausted in 2023, or earlier if market conditions improve.