The greenfield project is situated immediately to the south of the company’s Moranbah North metallurgical coal mine and is expected to produce 5 million metric tons per year (mtpy) from a longwall operation over a projected life of 26 years. “Grosvenor is the first of our next phase growth projects and will initiate our industry leading production growth of metallurgical coal from our Australian business over the next decade,” said Cynthia Carroll, CEO, Anglo American.
The Grosvenor project forms a major part of the company’s strategy of tripling met coal production from its Australian assets by 2020 using a standard longwall and coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) design model. In its first phase of development, Grosvenor will consist of a single new longwall mine, targeting the same Goonyella Middle coal seam mined at Moranbah North, and will process its coal through the existing Moranbah North CHPP and train loading facilities. A pre-feasibility study for expansion by adding a second longwall at Grosvenor is under way.
“We are excited to be developing the first growth phase of our planned Moranbah hub which will drive our target of 12% compound annual production growth by 2020,” said Seamus French, CEO, Anglo American’s metallurgical coal business. “Grosvenor and the wider hub will produce some of the highest quality coking coal in the world and represents a major investment commitment for the region. Our longwall design model will enable us to replicate our approach across our expansion footprint, ensuring the transfer of best practice project efficiency, cost control and risk mitigation. We have also now received confirmation of our development rights from the Queensland government for the expansion of the Abbot Point coal port—a dedicated export facility that would have the capacity to accommodate the growth from our Moranbah hub.”
First development coal from Grosvenor is expected in 2013 and the commissioning of the longwall in 2016. Such project timings are contingent upon the receipt of the appropriate licenses and permits. Grosvenor has received approval of its Environmental Impact Statement, the project’s Environmental Authority is in train and the key mining lease is anticipated during the first quarter of 2012.