By Joel Scanlon
Aquila Resources and Vale SA have been granted a mining lease by the government of Queensland for their Eagle Downs coal mine. The Eagle Downs coal project is located in the Bowen Basin. The board of directors of the Brazilian mining giant has already sanctioned $ 875 million for the development of the project.
Decio Amaral the global coal director at Vale announced on Friday that the company was hoping to start the project development on the Eagle Downs mine soon. The mine will be situated 20 km south east of Moranbah in central Queensland.
Mr Amaral said that they were looking to start construction as soon as possible, with the first long wall operation in the third quarter of 2015. The project has an annual production potential of 5.1 million metric tons of coking coal. Coking coal is an essential ingredient in the manufacturing of steel.
Vale and Aquila Resources own the Eagle Downs project as a 50 – 50 joint venture. The two companies are in a legal dispute over the three of their joint ventures in Australia. At Eagle Downs they have been arguing over which port the coking coal produced at the mine will be shipped out from.
This has caused the development of the project to be delayed. The development of the project will include proposed construction, development and operation of an underground longwall hard coking coal mine. The location is close to the Peak Downs Coal Mine which is being operated by the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance.
Source: Aquila Resources