Coal explorer in talks with Aurizon as mine development ramps up

Queensland coal explorer International Coal has announced it is in discussions with Aurizon over a rail access deal for its Consuelo project in the Bowen Basin.

The project, located just 25 kms from an existing rail haulage line on the Blackwater system, is slated to start production in late 2016, with an exploration target of between 800 million and 1,700 million tonnes of high grade coal.

International Coal says one of its main advantages over other explorers is its proximity to existing rail infrastructure.

“Planning and negotiation of infrastructure access often requires extensive lead times. In order to keep on track with our exploration and development schedule, we need to move early to shore up access to infrastructure either through direct means or through secondary contracts,” chief executive officer Glenn Simpson said.

“We are not locking anything in yet but we need to start a dialogue so that it is all systems go if our exploration comes up as expected.”

Consuelo has open–cut and underground potential and the company hope to achieve rapid development of the project, International Coal said.

The company also confirmed talks have commenced with key proponents associated with the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal which is currently under construction.