Whitehaven Coal is anticipating a 50 per cent boost in production and processing capacity from the $980 million Winchester South coal project in Queensland.
After updating a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the project, Whitehaven is now targeting 15 million tonnes a year of run-of-mine coal over a mine life of more than 20 years.
This includes the production of pulverised coal injection (PCI) and semi-hard coking coal (SHCC), which are used in the manufacture of steel, in addition to thermal coal exports.
Whitehaven also declared maiden coal reserves of 350 million tonnes, and more than doubled its JORC resources from 530 million tonnes to 1.1 billion tonnes.
The company has drilled more than 200 new holes since acquiring the Winchester South project from Rio Tinto in 2018.
Whitehaven managing director Paul Flynn said the declaration of resources and reserves for Winchester South, in accordance with the JORC code, was an important milestone for the project.
It has provided further confidence around resource definition and various options to ensure the company maximises returns, he said.
Whitehaven will continue to progress the Winchester South project through the Queensland Government’s approval process.
Winchester South is surrounded by active coal mining and exploration areas, including BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA)’s Peak Downs and Daunia mines, South 32’s Eagle Downs mine and Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs South project.
It will be one of the projects that underpins Whitehaven’s growth, alongside the Vickery coal project in New South Wales.