Paringa Resources Ltd. has delivered first coal from the Poplar Grove operation in western Kentucky. A maiden shipment of approximately 1,500 tons was loaded into barges at Paringa’s Ainsworth Dock on the Green River to Louisville Gas & Electric Co. (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) on April 26.

Coal is sold by Paringa on a free-on-board (FoB) basis, with the company’s customers responsible for the transportation of coal. The loaded product underwent sampling and analysis at the Ainsworth Dock and exceeded key contract specifications.

“Commencing sales from the Poplar Grove operation is a key milestone for the company in becoming a significant coal producer in western Kentucky, USA,” said Paringa Managing Director Egan Antill. “The company remains focused on the successful ramp up of operations toward nameplate capacity throughout 2019.”

Sales volumes are anticipated to increase in the coming weeks as additional mining equipment is deployed. The second continuous miner has now been deployed. Additionally, the slope conveyor has been successfully commissioned and is transporting run of mine (RoM) coal from the slope bottom.

Coal quality exceeded contract specifications, validating the coal preparation handling plant ramp-up performance, and sales volumes will continue to increase in the coming weeks as additional mining equipment is deployed.

The company continues to build on a strong forward sales book and is sold out for 2019 and approximately 70% committed for 2020 with leading regional power utilities. Market conditions in the Illinois Basin remain strong, and the company is actively engaged with both existing and new customers regarding further sales agreements.

Underground mining operations continue to progress well, with the slope development contractor demobilized from the site. The slope conveyor was successfully installed and commissioned during the week of April 1, with RoM material now being transported from the mine faces to the transfer point at the slope portal.

The permanent ventilation system has been established, and the second continuous miner has now been deployed. Installation and commissioning of the slope conveyor has enabled the underground and surface operations to be integrated. RoM material is now traveling up the slope conveyor to the slope portal and on the overland conveyor, which then deposits it into the raw coal stockpile for processing at the CHPP.

The ramp up of the CHPP is progressing in line with expectations, with coal qualities to date having exceeded key contract specifications.