A fossil fuel revival received the last funds needed to resume production.
Australian Pacific Coal (AQC) recently finalised a new three-year US$60 million (A$90M) debt facility with Vitol Asia. This means its joint venture (JV) with Tetra Resources can now cover the cost of reopening the Dartbrook Coal Project, 122km northwest of Newcastle.
The money will be used to complete remediation work, and acquire equipment plus extra mining systems needed while ramping-up to full capacity.
Vitol has also agreed to be the sole sales and marketing agent for the mine’s entire lifespan.
“[The] package we have agreed with Vitol opens the door for Dartbrook to restart production after 18 years in care and maintenance,” AQC interim CEO Ayten Saridas said in a public statement.
“We can now accelerate work on-site and complete underground works, including the installation of the new conveyor system, refurbish the Coal Handling and Preparation Plant, and load out facilities – and procure the continuous miners and additional mining equipment.”
Work is expected to begin sometime before 31 March 2024. The operation has been under care and maintenance since 2006, following multiple workplace accidents and low commodity prices. The Coal Handling Processing Plant will be recommissioned and ventilation circuit reestablished. This is promised to help reinforce the roof and ribs.
AQC previously struck a deal with resources mogul Nathan Tinkler, M Resources, Evolution Capital, and a JV between Tetra Resources and Javelin Private Capital Group.