Mine makes first export

By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.com.au

IT was a milestone day yesterday for the Minerva coal mine with the loading of its first coal ship- ment for export.

Managing director Jon Parker said the first shipment of 50,000 tonnes of thermal coal would be going to a foundation member in Japan.

The Minerva mine is part of the Felix Resources group of mines and operates out of the Bowen Basin.

Mr Parker said work began on the mine in August last year and it became operational within 11 months.

"We expect the mine to pro- duce 2.5 million tonnes per year for the next 11 years,'' he said.

Joint partner in the venture Sojitz has been working on the marketing of the coal into Japan.

Sojitz director Charlie Chi- chibu said they were very excit- ed at the loading of the shipment.

"We have waited a long time for this day,'' Mr Chichibu said.

"This shipment will be going to chemical manufacturer To- kuyama in Japan to power their generators.''

Acting chairman of the Cen- tral Qeensland Ports Authority (CQPA) Peter Corones said he was pleased the port of Glad- stone was chosen to ship the first load of coal from the Minerva mine.

Felix Resources has three open cut mines in operation on the east coast, Ashton at the Hunter Valley, Yarrabee at Blackwater and Minerva.

Mr Parker said work would begin on their fourth coal mine site, Moolarben at Mudgee, next year.

"We are looking to expand our exports into Korea, Taiwan, Chi- na and India,'' he said.

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