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New lease of life for Polish coal mine

World Coal,

The Debiensko coal mine in Poland’s Upper Silesia Basin could have received a new lease of life, after coal mining firm, New World Resources (NWR) said it was exploring ways to fund a revival plan for the mine, which had previously been deemed uneconomic and shelved.

NWR initially started planning the project in 2006 and was granted a 50-year mining license in 2008. In 2012, however, the project was suspended. 

However, following the completion of a positive pre-feasibility study for the Debiensko project, undertaken by DMT Consulting,the miner said it had now found ways to reduce capital and operational expenditure required for the project was now looking to attract funding for a two-year feasibility stage for the project.

DMT’s independent review of the mine found it had proven coal reserves of 263 million t, which could yield 186 million t of marketable hard metallurgical coal.

"NWR has made further improvements to the project's business, development and mining plan, and has undertaken a value engineering exercise," the company said in a statement.

Loss-making NWR, which also has coal mines in the Czech Republic, has struggled to adjust to falling coal prices and last year had to undergo a restructuring. It said in November it would return to generating cash by the end of this year.

The company produced 2.269 million tonnes of metallurgical coal in the last quarter of 2014, bringing its annual output to 8.601 million tonnes, just below its target range.

DMT’s review has forecast a long-term price for hard metallurgical coal from Debienkso at €130/t.

Following the study, Moelis & Co. UK LLP has been engaged by NWR in assisting the company to find funding for the next feasibility stage of the project. 

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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