NSW-based coal producer Whitehaven Coal has announced that it expects to rail first coal from its Maules Creek project in January 2015, more than two months ahead of schedule.
The acceleration of the first railings is due to the strong performance of Whitehaven’s construction team and contractors working on the project, the company said in the ASX announcement.
“The result is an outstanding achievement by everyone involved in the construction of the Maules Creek mine and that the team should be commended,” said Whitehaven’s Managing Director and CEO, Paul Flynn, adding that the commissioning of the Coal Handling Processing Plant and other related infrastructure will continue through to July 2015.
Initial sales from the Maules Creek project will be for by-pass thermal coal, which is expected to exceed Newcastle benchmark specifications.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has approved a revised Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for the Maules Creek project, under which clearing activities will be carried out in the period between 15 February and 30 April of each year.
The company said the timing for clearance activities will have no impact on railing first coal in January 2015, nor will it impact any other key project milestones.