Dartbrook coal mine looks set to reopen as an underground operation, a move new owner Australian Pacific Coal (APC).
The coal miner, formerly led by bankrupt Nathan Tinkler, stated it was close to completing the acquisition of the joint venture from Anglo American, a plan which may involve the purchase of a 16.67 per cent interest held by Marubeni Coal.
Funding will likely be supplied by Trepang Services, which has undertaken a non-binding indication to provide for the outstanding funding arrangements, subject to conditions.
APC has also flagged that the mine will continue as an underground mine, with planning for recommencement well advanced.
It is expected that opening the mine as an underground rather than open-pit operation will serve to deflect some of the opposition encountered from local community groups and high-profile horse breeders in the Hunter Valley.
The company will conduct community briefings over the coming months in order to set out its proposals for the mine.
“The board and management of the company are committed to ensuring that all personnel participate in developing a culture of safety and that the mine operates in accordance with best practice environmental standards,” APC said in a statement.
The company also said that site safety, environmental and operational management personnel are now being appointed.
Australia Pacific Coal (ASX:AQC) is trading at 0.01c, down from 0.013c on Friday.