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New owner Bowen Coking Coking aims to start coal production at Bluff mine in the early new year after finalising financing for the restart.

The company has engaged CMC Group in association with Comiskey Mining Services to prepare the mothballed operation for production.

It said off‐site work had already commenced and mobilisation to site was expected before the end of the year, with first coal production planned for the first quarter of 2022.

The company has enough cash to also begin mining at its Broadmeadow East project, pending final environmental approval, which is expected before the end of 2021.

Bowen managing director Gerhard Redelinghuys said the acquisition and funding of Bluff were key milestones in Bowen’s journey to becoming Australia’s next metallurgical coal producer.

“We look forward to recommissioning and operating the mine in a safe and responsible way to deliver high-quality ultra‐low volatile PCI coal to our customers in the steel industry,” Mr Redelinghuys said.

“Furthermore, we are delighted with the strong reception we received from the market for our inaugural debt facility and capital raising which positions Bowen well as it transitions from coal explorer to multi‐mine coking coal producer.”

Bowen Coking Coal successfully completed an $11 million placement and signed a term sheet for $15 million of debt financing from a private credit institution to support the restart operations at the Bluff mine.

Restarting the Bluff mine – which was placed on care and maintenance in December 2020 – is expected to create at least 175 jobs.

Mining contractor MACA reached an agreement to sell the mine, east of Blackwater, for $5 million plus royalties. It had appointed receiver managers over the accounts of former owner Carabella Resources late last year over money it was owed.

Bluff Mine hosts a 13.5Mt JORC Resource of ultra‐low volatile PCI (ULVPCI) coal.

It is expected to be mined at a rate of 1‐1.2 Mtpa (ROM) over four to six years to supply the global steel industry.

The product is being marketed through the company’s 50:50 marketing joint venture with M Resources, a specialist metallurgical coal trading company.