COAL DELAY . . . works at the Canonbie coalfield are due to resume when coking coal
New Age Exploration Limited, which trades from Melbourne, announced earlier this year that it had temporarily ceased operations under their sister company Lochinvar Coal Ltd as a result of crashing coal prices.
And the company’s annual report, which was published this week, also unveils that they have reduced UK staff to just one part-time community liaison officer – with three full-time positions made redundant.
Non-executive chairman Alan Broome says he is pleased by the progress that has been made on advancing the project, which shows ‘attractive economics’.
But site based exploration activities for an underground mining operation, which would produce a low ash, high volatile coking coal to supply domestic UK and European steel mills, have ground to a halt in the current climate.
He said: “Coking coal prices have fallen significantly since we completed the scoping study and over the past year there have been many mine closures worldwide.
“As a result of current low coking coal prices and market conditions, the board has decided to curtail work on the Lochinvar project until coking coal prices improve.
“The licences will be maintained in good standing and we will continue to maintain the strong community and stakeholder relationships we have established on the project.”
He added: “Lochinvar is extremely well positioned to take advantage of the next market upturn and the board remains confident in the value of Lochinvar.
“We will continue to monitor market conditions and it is our intention to re-commence
activity at Lochinvar when coking coal prices improve sufficiently.”
Furthermore, the company has also taken other steps to reduce costs such as relocating the Melbourne office to a smaller, lower cost office and ceasing all Colombian activities.