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Wongawilli prepares to restart operations

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World Coal,

Wollongong Coal has increased its resources at Wongawilli coal mine as the company prepares to recommence operations at the site in 2Q16. The “additional resources” will focus on commissioning the mine infrastructure to meet the target time frame for start of production.

The increased commitment to the mine comes after Wollongong appointed Delta SBD as mining contractor for the site to oversee and manage the restart of operations.

“The decision to resume operations triggered preparation plants for operational readiness,” the company said in its December 2015 quarterly report. “This included recommissioning production equipment and support infrastructure that was parked up during care and maintenance.”

In addition, the company succeeded in extending its environmental approval under Part 3A (Pt3A) of the New South Wales Environmental and Planning Act until 2020, allowing extraction of the remaining approved coal blocks in the Nebo and Eloura areas of the mine. The Pt3A approval was due to lapse at the end of 2015. All subsidiary environmental permits have also been obtained.

The company also said that it had installed and commissioned a real-time air and noise monitoring system at Wongawilli on 23 December 2015 to bring the mine into compliance with current requirements. The system will monitor noise, weather and PM2.5 and PM10 particles.

The company reported no coal production in 4Q15 following its decision to place its Russell Vale coal mine into care and maintenance in September last year. Sales from remaining stockpiles at Russell Vale totaled 22 347 t, while those from Wongawilli totaled 1149 t.

“Following the decision to place the Russell Vale Colliery on care and maintenance […] a programme of restructuring the operations has continued,” said the company. “A small care and maintenance team remains at the colliery to ensure protection of the asset and infrastructure including monitoring and maintenance of dewatering infrastructure and strata management activities as required.”

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