COAL MINE BID GETS SE­RI­OUS

Dalby Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Matthew New­ton

A QUEENS­LAND com­pany has con­firmed it has made an of­fer to global en­ergy gi­ant Pe­abody En­ergy to pur­chase one of its mines in the re­gion.

NewBlack En­ergy chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Gray said he and his col­leagues had been work­ing on a pro­posal with Pe­abody for the sale of the moth­balled Wilkie Creek Coal Mine over the past 12 months but Pe­abody was yet to make a de­ci­sion on whether to sell the mine or not.

“We’re cer­tainly con­tin­u­ing to push for the sale,” Mr Gray said.

“We would look to restart the project and we be­lieve there’s op­por­tu­nity there for up to 150 jobs if we can get the project back into pro­duc­tion.”

Wilkie Creek Coal Mine is lo­cated roughly 25km north-west of Dalby.

NewBlack En­ergy is a rel­a­tive new­comer to the coal in­dus­try but is com­prised of a num­ber of for­mer coal in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives who Mr Gray said had been in­volved in “a num­ber of projects in the in­dus­try”.

He said the com­pany had sev­eral pri­vate eq­uity back­ers.

“We be­lieve there’s an op­por­tu­nity for smaller in­de­pen­dent coal com­pa­nies to work with con­trac­tors in the com­mu­nity with good cost fo­cus ... by work­ing with con­trac­tors in the re­gion, we be­lieve we can get eco­nomic pro­duc­tion up and run­ning,” he said.

The Wilkie Creek Coal Mine shut in 2013 amid spi­ralling costs and a drop in the coal price.

Sek­i­tan Re­sources se­cured an agree­ment to pur­chase the mine from Pe­abody En­ergy in mid-2015 but that deal col­lapsed in 2016 amid re­ports Sek­i­tan was un­able to find fund­ing.

A Pe­abody En­ergy spokesper­son de­clined to com­ment on the of­fer.

PHOTO: FILE

OLD DAYS: One of the new trucks that ar­rived at the Wilkie Creek Coal Mine in 2011.

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