Strong demand for coking coal see Glencore exploring options

Glencore operation
Glencore operation

Glencore’s Integra Operations Manager, Peter Ostermann, provided Singleton Council with update on how they were tracking on Monday night.

And, things appear to be heading in the right direction with Mr Ostermann revealing they are currently in the process of preparing a modification.

The submission is expected to be ready by March 2018 and could see a further five longwall blocks mined.

This extraction of a possible 9.9 million tonnes of coal would have little surface impact as the seam runs under the Mt Owen Open Cut mine which is also a Glencore operation.

He said it is pleasing they have been able to successfully re-open the mine at at time when others had to be closed.

At present 178 full-time employees are working at the mine along with a further 50 support staff and their estimated annual spend is $170 million with $44m of that figure spent in the Singleton Local Government Area.

Formerly known as Glennies Creek, the mine was reopened by Glencore in November last year with development kicking off February and longwall mining in May.

The asset was purchased in late 2015 from Brazilian miner, Vale, who mothballed the operation in May 2014 at at the height of the local mining downturn.

A jump in the price of coking coal combined with the fact Vale had already formed one longwall and had another longwall half formed provided Glencore with the impetus to restart the mine.

And, should the coal price remain at current levels no doubt the miner will be keen to extract further resources.