Construction at Maules Creek started in January 2014 and at the end of September 2014 was 68 per cent complete, ahead of schedule and on budget. The project is currently the largest coal mine under construction in Australia. Project construction costs are estimated to be $670 million by March 2015 at the time when first coal is scheduled to be railed.
When operating at full capacity Maules Creek is expected to employ about 450 people sourced predominantly from the local region in North Western New South Wales.
Whitehaven has committed that the Maules Creek workforce will consist of at least 10 per cent from the indigenous and aboriginal community within five years. Following the initial recruitment of 100 employees, we are on traget to achieve the stated aim.
For more information on job vacancies at Maules Creek and details how to apply please visit here.
Construction is on budget and schedule for first coal to be railed in the March 2015 quarter.
On average there are some 430 people engaged on site construction activity. The safety performance over the whole site is commendable with no LTIs recorded to date with in excess of 750,000 hours worked. Major contractors engaged include Leighton Contractors, Ditchfield, Downer and Transgrid.
The Rangari Road upgrade, one of the projects under the voluntary agreement with Narrabri Council, was completed during the September quarter. Feedback from local residents has been positive since the upgrade was finished.
The following table provides an update on construction progress of the projects key components.
The Maules Creek Project Team
Maules Creek Coal Project is located in the heart of the Gunnedah Basin and is within close proximity of critical infrastructure. It is approximately 18km north-east of Boggabri and only 16km from the main railway line servicing the coal terminals at the Port of Newcastle, which is 360km south-east of the project.
Maules Creek Coal Joint Venture.
Tenements: CL 375 and (A) 346
The Maules Creek Project was fully approved in July 2013.
It is one of the last major undeveloped and significant multi-seam coal deposits in New South Wales and is expected to sustain a potential project life in excess of 30 years. It is approved to extract up to 13 Mt of coal per annum and rail 12.4 Mt of product from the site in any calendar year.
First coal sales are expected to occur in the first quarter of calendar 2015.
Whitehaven's most recent production statistics can be found in our Quarterly Reports released to the Australian Securities Exchange. You can find the most recent Quarterly Report here.
The Maules Creek Project is considered to be one of only a few remaining Tier 1 undeveloped coal assets in Australia. It is also one of the largest coal deposits in Australia with 362Mt of recoverable reserves.
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