Coal, Contract award, Dartbrook mine, Funding, News

Dartbrook restart backed by $90 million funding

Australian Pacific Coal has received $US60 million ($90.7 million) in funding from Vitol Asia to restart the Dartbrook coal mine.

The Dartbrook coal mine is located in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales. It has been closed since 2006, but Australian Pacific Coal and its joint venture partners such as Tetra Resources have been working to recommission the mine since September 2022.

Australian Pacific Coal received a non-binding letter of intent for $75 million in debt funding to restart Dartbrook in August.

Dartbrook’s new funding will cover all of its remaining forecast restart expenditure through to first coal, equipment acquisitions, completion of remediation works, and acquiring additional mining systems during ramp-up to achieve full capacity.

Australian Pacific Coal interim chief executive officer Ayten Saridas said the Dartbrook mine is a Tier-1 asset and the Vitol transaction is a testament to the resource’s quality.

“For the past 12 months, Australia Pacific Coal has been focused on de-risking the Dartbrook project and obtaining a debt funding package that gives Dartbrook the best chance of succeeding and delivers the best outcome for shareholders and stakeholders,” she said.

“Vitol was selected as our preferred funding partner for their ability to provide a comprehensive funding solution that covered all of our restart capex needs. This facility will allow us to complete all remediation and refurbishment works and acquire the critical equipment necessary to restart mining operations and ramp-up to full capacity.”

Australian Pacific Coal expects for an intensive capital works program to lead up to Dartbrook’s goal of first coal in the first quarter of 2024.

“During that period, Australian Pacific Coal will be working towards finalising a working capital facility to underpin our commercial operations going forward,” Saridas said.

Australian Pacific Coal has also signed a coal sales and marketing agreement with Vitol for all Dartbrook coal production, including assigning coal marketing rights to Vitol for the life of the mine.

“We are confident in Vitol’s marketing capabilities and we look forward to working with them as we bring this world-class asset back to full operational status,” Saridas said.

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