Orion Mining to restart Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland


TerraCom subsidiary Orion Mining is set to restart operations at Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland in June.    

This decision comes after meeting certain conditions, which then led to the firm receiving approval from Queensland Government. 

TerraCom board member and Orion Mining chairman Jim Soorley said: “The approval is great news for TerraCom and even better news for the community of Clermont and the state of Queensland, with, assuming current prices, up to $85m in taxes and royalties to flow from the re-opened mine operation.”

With the plan to recommence mining in June, more than 600 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created in the local communities. The company also intends to shift its corporate office to Clermont in order to be close to the mine.

Soorley added: “TerraCom has had strong interest from customers in North Asia for Blair Athol Coal. Over the next seven years, we plan to export $1.2bn in product, assuming current prices, delivering enormous value to TerraCom shareholders.”

"Over the next seven years, we plan to export $1.2bn in mined product."

“The transfer has been subject to an extensive and exhaustive process of review with numerous state government agencies confirming that TerraCom has the human, technical and financial capacity to operate Blair Athol. Coupled with $93.1m in financial assurances, the approval is positive proof that TerraCom has the capacity to successfully rehabilitate and mine Blair Athol.” 

Production at Blair Athol coal mine was halted in 2012 after Rio Tinto put the mine under care and maintenance.

TerraCom purchased Blair Athol for A$1 and the Queensland government will receive $79.6m from the Blair Athol Coal Joint Venture (BACJV) to meet Blair Athol Coal Mine’s rehabilitation.

This purchase includes the mining lease, related licences, land, site infrastructure, active contracts and all mining plant and equipment, including a dragline.

TerraCom intends to start more than 50ha of site rehabilitation while bringing the mine back into production. Under TerraCom's management, the mine's operation is expected to produce around 2mtpa over a seven-year period.