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Stanmore Coal is laying the groundwork for a smooth shift into operations at the $85 million Isaac Downs mine as the project moves through the final stages of the approval process.

The Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science has completed the EIS assessment report for the open-cut mine at the company’s Isaac Plains complex near Moranbah.

Isaac Downs would be developed as a satellite operation to Stanmore’s Isaac Plains Complex near Moranbah, with an expected output of 2.5Mtpa saleable coking coal.

In its quarterly report, Stanmore reported that its new access road was under construction, including a new intersection at the Peak Downs Highway.

Approved bulk sample works have begun, with first trial cargoes scheduled for delivery to customers during this quarter.

Once mining approvals were finalised (estimated mid-2021), the project could commence operations rapidly, the company said.

Chief executive officer Marcelo Matos said Stanmore was also in the process of finalising engineering designs for the key pieces of infrastructure required for the Isaac Downs project.

These include a haul road to link Isaac Downs to Isaac Plains, an underpass for the haul road to cross underneath the Peak Downs Highway, and mine infrastructure
including flood protection levees and water dams.

“Mining operations will be progressively transitioned from Isaac Plains to Isaac Downs during the second half of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, with the coal processing and train loading operations continuing at the Isaac Plains complex to support the new project,” he said.

Mr Matos described the development of the Isaac Downs project as pivotal for the longevity of Stanmore’s open-cut production volumes at competitive costs.

The project is expected to employ about 250 people during construction and
300 people once operational. The workforce for Isaac Downs will be transitioned from Isaac Plains mine.

Millennium mine restart on track for next quarter

He said the transaction to acquire the nearby Millennium mine from Peabody, in joint venture partner with M Resources, was expected to complete by the end of July 2021.

“Work by Stanmore to realise the value and synergies related to the project has commenced,” he said.

Mr Matos said restarting the Millennium and Mavis Downs mine represented a low-capital and quick-to-market investment opportunity.

“Mining is planned to recommence from 3Q 2021 with planned production ramping up to 1.0mtpa, with coal washing undertaken at the Red Mountain Infrastructure coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) via a fully executed toll washing and train loading agreement,” he said.

“The restart of the Millennium and Mavis Downs mine is expected to create an estimated 150 – 200 jobs, investment in underground expansions and completion of rehabilitation.”