Atrum Coal has selected China Coal Technology & Engineering to supply and finance mining equipment for its Groundhog anthracite project in British Columbia, Canada.
The equipment will be used at the project’s first mining zone, Groundhog North, to facilitate a production ramp-up covering bulk sample mining, small-scale mining and initial mini-wall production phases.
Under stage one of the production finance package, the Chinese firm will supply roadheaders, diesel mobile equipment, QDS attachments, conveyor systems and continuous miners.
Shuttle cars, mobile bolters, feeder breakers, auxiliary fans, mini wall and modular CHPPs will also be supplied.
Phase one of the anthracite development’s finance package is valued at $100m.
Atrum operations vice-president Ben Smith said: "Through this facility, we have the plant and equipment required to deliver the bulk sample mine, upgrade to a small-scale mine and further ramp-up and progress approximately 1.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) run-of-mine production of the full-scale mine."
The company will commission mining equipment in stages alongside the various progressions of permitting and production at Groundhog North.
"Long lead items associated with commissioning Atrum’s first mine, Groundhog North, will be ordered during 1H 2015." Smith added.
The company is in negotiations with external financiers to commence the bulk sample mining, and expects to secure licence for the first 100,000t at Groundhog North by mid-year.
Atrum plans to proceed with stage two of the production finance facility with the Chinese firm, which will provide it with $250m to expand the full-scale underground mine.
With these scheduled works, the company will be able to increase the underground mine to its steady state production rate of 5.4Mtpa ROM coal after 2017.
Atrum is currently in talks with Asian mills and traders over the purchase of off-take rights and a direct equity investment into Groundhog North.
Image: China Coal Technology & Engineering will supply equipment for Groundhog North mine. Photo: courtesy of Atrum Coal NL.