Xstrata will restart production at its Oaky no. 1 underground coking coal mine in August, after the company secured recent spot sales of hard coking coal.
Xstrata Coal’s communications manager James Rickards told MINING DAILY the production restart will be on a short-term basis and will continue through to the end of the year at least.
The company had to retrench 190 contractors and 40 full time staff when it closed the mine in December last year.
At the time, Rickards told MINING DAILY the company’s coking coal mines were suffering under the reduced demand for steel.
According to Rickards, the company will look to identify where the market is headed at the end of the year before committing to long term production.
“We have to remember that the global steel market is still under significant pressure and steel production is still 50% off its global peak level,” he said.
The company will move across members of its development crew to operate the mine’s longwall.
“The good thing is that we have the flexibility and the people on-site to be able to start up operations again very quickly,” he said.
“There also may be some short-term opportunities for contract labour, but we haven’t identified any exact numbers at this time.”
Oaky no. 1 is part of the Oaky Creek Coal complex, which can produce 4.6 million tonnes of coal annually.