Earth moves at Meteor Downs South
Minerva mine operator Sojitz Coal Mining is developing the thermal coal mine south-east of Springsure in joint venture with U&D Mining.
Sojitz Coal Mining managing director and chief executive officer Cameron Vorias said all heavy equipment was now in the mining area, with coal expected to be flowing by the end of February.
“The first scoop (to commence the box cut) was last Wednesday afternoon,” he said.
Mr Vorias said about 30-40 people were working on site as some construction activities continued, but this was expected to scale back over the next month to a permanent workforce of 25-30.
The truck and shovel operation is expected to produce about 500,000 tonnes per annum for the first two years, when Meteor Downs South will rely on road haulage to get its coal to the Minerva rail load-out facility for transport to Gladstone port.
This will be ramped up to 1.5Mtpa when a rail load-out facility comes online.
Mr Vorias described progress at Meteor Downs South as outstanding.
“We have achieved it using a number of small contractors from around the local area,” he said.
“The relationship with all our suppliers has been extraordinary to get the project up in such a short time frame and really just goes to show the teamwork that has occurred with brand new staff, a fair number of whom have never worked in the mining industry before.
“It just goes to show what you can do with good leadership and good spirit.”