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Highwall mining to commence at Isaac Plains

Stanmore Coal has announced they have awarded a contract to UGM to begin highwall mining operations at Isaac Plains.

The company bought the Bowen Basin mine for $1 in November, and started operations in April.

“We are very pleased to have signed this contract with UGM after more than 12 months of preparation, detailed design and discussions with relevant State representatives,” managing director Nick Jorss said.

“Highwall mining is an attractive option for Stanmore at Isaac Plains given the potential to produce low cost, low impact incremental tonnes of coking coal to be sold to existing and new customers.

“The additional coal is expected to be produced at an FOB cost which is around 20% lower than the current open cut cost, given the largely fixed nature of the infrastructure costs which are already covered by open cut mining operations.”

Highwall mining represents a short term, low cost, low impact incremental increase to production from the existing disused S2 pit in the south of the mining lease.

Highwall mining is a low cost, low impact mining method to extract otherwise uneconomic coal at the end of an open cut pit life. It has been extensively used in the USA and Australia including at Glencore’s Newlands and Ulan mines and Anglo American’s Dawson mine.

The highwall mining equipment is operated remotely meaning there are no personnel underground.

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