Australian Pacific Coal Ltd. (AQC) announced that the Dartbrook Joint Venture, comprising AQC and Tetra Resources Pty. Ltd, has finalized a 3-year, $60 million debt facility with Vitol Asia Pte. Ltd., to restart the Dartbrook mine in New South Wales, Australia.

The terms of the binding debt facility agreement, first announced at the end of November, were finalized and executed following a substantial period of due diligence. The $60 million facility will cover forecast restart expenditure at Dartbrook through to first coal, including equipment acquisitions and completion of remediation works, and the acquisition of additional mining systems during ramp-up to achieve full capacity.

“This is a landmark event for AQC, our shareholders, and the Dartbrook mine,” said Ayten Saridas, interim CEO for AQC. “The $60 million restart funding package we have agreed with Vitol opens the door for Dartbrook to restart production after 18 years in care and maintenance.

“Our ability to secure debt funding for Dartbrook during a period of high inflation and global tension is testament to the quality of the project, the vision and work ethic of the team of people bringing it back to market, and the commitment of our shareholders,” she said. “We are excited with the potential of the Dartbrook mine and we are focused on bringing it back into production and delivering jobs and economic benefits for the people of the Hunter Valley.

Ayten said AQC now plans to accelerate work on site and complete underground works, including the installation of the a conveyor system, refurbish the coal-handling and preparation plant (CHPP) and load-out facilities, and procure the continuous miners and additional mining equipment.

As foreshadowed in the November announcement, the Dartbrook JV has entered into a coal sales and marketing agreement with Vitol for all Dartbrook coal production, including assigning coal marketing rights to Vitol for the life of the mine.