Rio Tinto announced the official opening of a US$ 2 billion extension of their Kestrel Mine in a ceremony near Emerald, Queensland.
The extension will add 20 years to the life of the Rio Tinto mine and will increase production of hard coking coal to approximately 6 million tpy.
Queensland’s Treasurer, Tim Nicholls, officially opened the mine extension. In his speech at the ceremony, he commented: “Coal continues to play a vital role in the state’s economy and I welcome this long term commitment by Rio Tinto in Queensland. It is yet more evidence that businesses have the confidence to invest, employ and grow here.”
The Treasurer joined the CEO of Rio Tinto Energy, Harry Kenyon-Slaney on a tour of the mine, which began production in July this year.
Kenyon-Slaney commented: “Today we are celebrating a long-term future for Kestrel Mine and our workforce of more than 500 employees and contractors, the relationships we have with our customers and the contributions we make to the local community and Queensland.”
“A mine of this size will spend many billions of dollars in operating expenses over its life, including payments to employees, contractors and through the procurement of goods and services from other businesses who supply us.”
“This extension has delivered one of the most advanced and sophisticated underground coking coal operations built in Australia. It is equipped with a new level of automation that will deliver significant safety and production improvements.”
“I look forward to seeing Kestrel Mine continue to lead the way in improving the competitiveness of our Australian coal business while providing benefits for the state,” he concluded.
Kestrel Mine has around 115 million t in coal reserves, providing options for ongoing mining. The mine’s main export countries are Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Europe, India and China.
Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/15102013/rio_tinto_australian_mine_extension_128/