Australia set for coking coal recovery?

By Dale Benton
An Australian private equity firm has announced plans to dig a new coal mine in the Bowen Basin area in 2017, exploiting a recovery in the prices of coa...

An Australian private equity firm has announced plans to dig a new coal mine in the Bowen Basin area in 2017, exploiting a recovery in the prices of coal used to make steel.

Headed by Barry Tudor, Pembroke Resources anticipates a start-up date within the next 12 months and an estimate production of 1 million tonnes per year, with further pans for an additional two more mines come 2019.

Earlier this year, the company announced the acquisition of the Olive Downs Complex, which comprises of Olive Downs South, Willunda and Olive Downs North.

"We'd like to get it into production as soon as possible, but we're not trying to pick peaks in the market," Tudor told Reuters in an interview.

Should the mine reach its peak production of around 14 million tonnes a year, Olive Downs will be one of the largest metallurgical coal mines in Australia, with BHP Billiton’s Peak Downs mine the largest.

The price of hard coking coal has almost doubled this year to $141.75 a tonne, as high-cost U.S. supply has dropped out of the market and Chinese production has fallen.

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