Stanmore Coal reopens Isaac Plains mine in Australia


Stanmore Coal has reopened the Isaac Plains mine in the Bowen Basin of northern Queensland, Australia, after it shut in 2014 due to falling coal prices.

The Isaac Plains east deposit was acquired by Stanmore from Peabody in July. Isaac Plains mine and associated operating assets were bought from Vale and Sumitomo in August last year.

More than A$350m ($251m) of operating assets were also acquired, including a dragline, coal handling plant and train loading facilities.

After attaining formal ownership of the mine in November last year, the company resumed operations and produced the first coal in April.

"We believe we've picked the right point in the cycle to shift from explorer to exporter, with operating costs reduced by 35%."

Isaac Plains is expected to produce 1.1 million tonnes per annum of coking coal, which would be exported to Asian steel mills.

Recently, Stanmore extended the mine life from three to a further ten years.

Stanmore Coal managing director Nick Jorss said: "We have gone against the tide in the coal sector to create value for our investors and the central Queensland community.

"We believe we've picked the right point in the cycle to shift from explorer to exporter, with operating costs reduced by 35%."

Isaac Plains' coal production will be transported on the Goonyella Rail Line, 172km to Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal for export.

Australia Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: "As the re-opening of Isaac Plains here today in Central Queensland shows, investors still have confidence in Queensland and our resources.

"We have new faces, like Stanmore Coal, and new investors who are calling the bottom of the market, stepping up and creating jobs, like the 150 jobs here at Isaac Plains."