Denniston mine delay hinted

By Laura Mills

Bathurst Resources expects to start work at its new Denniston mine this month, but says it may delay the “ramp up” to production after international coal prices sank to a new low.
Final consent was granted before Christmas after a long battle with environmental groups.
In its latest market update, the former Australian-based company said it expected site operations would begin during February.
However, the export market for metallurgical coal was still weak, with hard coking coal prices hitting a new low in recent weeks.
“Bathurst will continue to monitor forecasts and has the opportunity to delay its proposed ramp up to one million tonnes per annum until the market shows signs of improvement,” the company said.
It said recruitment for site staff was under way, and the contractor’s fleet was ready to mobilise once the management plans were certified.
“The key first stage of the export coal project at Buller is Escarpment (Denniston), which is targeting an initial output of 500,000 tonnes per annum of coal for international steel markets, increasing to around one million tonnes per annum over the life of the block.”
Bathurst was talking with customers in India, Japan and China and said some change would be required in response to the current market conditions and the company’s “desire to contract directly with end users, being the leading steel companies in Asia”.