JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Coal mining company Terracom on Tuesday announced that, in collaboration with Deswik Mining Consultants, it had upgraded the reserves of the Blair Athol thermal coal mine, in Queensland, from 15.6-million tonnes to 18-million tonnes.
This upgrade effectively adds about one extra year to the mine life, which is now estimated at nine years, based on the two-million tonnes a year production estimate by Deswik.
Terracom is in the process of further developing the project’s Joint Ore Reserve Committee indicated and measured resource footprint. It plans to convert the economic areas of the revised resource footprint into further reserves, which could add an additional two to three years onto the Blair Athol mine life, Terracom chairperson Wal King added.
Further, critical activity at the Blair Athol mine is construction and commissioning of a dedicated train loadout facility (TLO). The rail line runs across the Blair Athol site and connects into the main Goonyella rail line, which runs to Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.
The TLO construction work is well advanced, including the mobilisation of the Aurizon network for the start of rail recommissioning works this week. It is expected the TLO will be commissioned (including first train) in the current quarter.
“This load-out facility will have a substantial impact on the economics of the Blair Athol mine, forecasting to deliver an additional $20/t improvement in margin. The commissioning of the dedicated rail load-out facility will allow the trucks, which are currently transporting the coal to another rail load-out facility, to be taken off the road.”
The dedicated rail load-out facility is forecast to provide substantial additional operating cash flow and net profit before tax of A$34-million a year, which will flow through to consolidated results.
Meanwhile, the marketable coal for Blair Athol mine is thermal product only. Estimates have been made for the most likely split of the run-of-mine coal to bypass or to process in the coal preparation plant to blend together to produce an export quality thermal coal at 12.5% ash on an air-dried basis.