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Hope on the horizon for mothballed coal project

A QUEENSLAND-based company has confirmed it has made an offer to global energy giant Peabody Energy for the purchase of one of its mines in the region.
A QUEENSLAND-based company has confirmed it has made an offer to global energy giant Peabody Energy for the purchase of one of its mines in the region. Derek Barry

A QUEENSLAND-based company has confirmed it has made an offer to global energy giant Peabody Energy to  purchase  one of its mines in the region. 

NewBlack Energy CEO Michael Gray told The Chronicle he and his colleagues had been working on a proposal with Peabody for the sale of the mothballed Wilkie Creek Coal Mine over the past 12 months, but that Peabody was yet to make a decision on whether to sell the mine or not.

"We're certainly continuing to push for the sale," Mr Gray said.

"We would look to restart the project and we believe there's opportunity there for up to 150 jobs if we can get the project back into production."

Wilkie Creek Coal Mine is located roughly 25km north-west of Dalby. 

NewBlack Energy is a relative newcomer to the coal industry, but is comprised of a number of former coal industry executives who Mr Gray said had been involved in "a number of projects in the industry". 

He said the company had several private equity backers.

"We believe there's an opportunity for smaller independent coal companies to work with contractors in the community with good cost-focus... by working with contractors in the region, we believe we can get economic production up and running," he said. 

The Wilkie Creek Coal Mine shut in 2013 amid spiralling costs and a drop in the coal price. 

Sekitan Resources secured an agreement to purchase the mine from Peabody Energy in mid-2015 but that deal collapsed in 2016 amid reports Sekitan was unable to find funding. 

A Peabody Energy spokesperson declined to comment on the offer, saying the sale or purchase of assets was commercial in confidence.

Topics:  chinchilla coal dalby newblack energy peabody toowoomba wilkie creek


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