Development of the Alpha Coal Mine in the Galilee Basin is a significant step closer with GVK Hancock Coal announcing Thiess has been appointed preferred mine operations contractor.
An Early Services Agreement signed this week will see GVK Hancock working exclusively with Thiess to develop a 10-year mine plan and budget. Thiess’ technical, engineering and plant expertise will be applied to develop the operational strategy and management plans, ensuring the thermal coal mine is a world-class, cost competitive operation.
GVK Group Managing Director Coal and Infrastructure, Paul Mulder noted that Thiess had successfully undertaken the operations for the Alpha bulk sample pit initiated by Hancock Prospecting in 2010 and is now delighted to have Thiess on board to help deliver the efficiencies required to see it become a reality.
Thiess Managing Director Bruce Munro said Thiess is excited to extend its working relationship with GVK to deliver the next phase in Alpha’s operational development.
“It’s important to the development of the Galilee Basin that we deliver efficient and flexible mining solutions that will provide certainty of delivery regardless of the commodity cycle.
“As a greenfield project, Thiess and GVK Hancock will take innovation to another level and embed industry leading technology and best practice from the early planning stages,” Mr Munro said.
Thiess Executive General Manager Australian Mining, Michael Wright said the team is expected to finalise the operational strategy, mine planning and management plan by the end of the year.
“The next six months are a critical time for Thiess and GVK Hancock to work together to reinvigorate Australia’s position as the world leader in safe and highly productive operations.
“This means resetting the paradigm on everything from plant and equipment, local sourcing to robust employee relations. It’s about setting the tone for what will be Australia’s largest coal mine,” said Mr Wright.
Alpha Coal Mine is located in the Galilee Basin with the first coal to be extracted by 2016. When fully commissioned, the mine will produce 32 million tonnes of thermal coal per year for the Asian export market.