Junior miner plans for upswing in coal market

SPEAKER: Cockatoo Coal managing director Andrew Lawson will speak at the 2014 GEA Major Industry Conference.
SPEAKER: Cockatoo Coal managing director Andrew Lawson will speak at the 2014 GEA Major Industry Conference. Contributed

THE coal industry is under significant pressure at the moment, but a recovery will come, according to Cockatoo Coal's managing director.

Writing in The Observer on Tuesday as part of a feature promoting next month's Gladstone Engineering Alliance major industry conference, Andrew Lawson said macroeconomic pressures had forced higher-cost miners to shut down production.

He said survival through the down phase meant keeping costs low, and being innovative in doing business.

Mr Lawson is readying the company for the recovery by expanding and being ready to thrive.

Cockatoo is in the process of expanding its Baralaba mine from one million tonnes to 3.5 million tonnes per annum, and has additional capacity secured through Gladstone's Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal from 2015.

The Baralaba mine is in the Bowen Basin, about 150km west of Rockhampton.

"We have owned Baralaba since 2008 and this expansion will see us evolve into a major player in the Australian PCI coal space," Mr Lawson said.

"We also possess one of the largest holdings of exploration and development tenure in Queensland, providing the company with a great pipeline for organic growth in the future."

The company is entering the second phase of its three-step expansion, which involves putting in place the infrastructure and equipment to get to 3.5 million tonnes per annum of production.

"Building a coalmine is challenging at the best of times, and particularly so when the market is in a down phase," Mr Lawson said

"But at Cockatoo we are confident that we have the right team and the right resource to succeed."

The GEA conference will be held at the Gladstone Entertainment Centre on October 22 and 23.

Phone 4972 9060 or visit for more details.

Topics:  coal mining cockatoo coal gladstone engineering alliance resources

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