Curragh mine expansion tipped to help meet Europe demand

Coronado has vowed to double its capital investment to $US190 million ($A267 million) to boost coal production at its US and Australian mines, with prices soaring as Europe seeks more supply.

May 26, 2022, updated May 26, 2022
The Curragh mine owned by Coronado. (Image: Golding)

The Curragh mine owned by Coronado. (Image: Golding)

The company said it was increasingly receiving inquiries from European markets to replace coal from Russia.

“However, with current production already contracted there is little opportunity to service additional markets until we expand production at Curragh,” chairman William Koeck said.

The company has expansion plans underway at Curragh to increase production to 13.5 million tonnes.

Koeck said 2022 was off to a strong start after a year in which its realised price for metallurgical coal increased 52 per cent and the average price for its Australian coal was up 92 per cent in the third quarter and a further 40 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Spot prices reached $US670 a tonne and the index price in the first quarter of 2022 was up 32 per cent.

The US-based company, which is listed on the ASX, said its much stronger balance sheet would mean it would also start the payment of a fixed annual dividend of US1 cent for each CDI. This would be in addition to any variable dividend, share buy-backs or other distributions.

In a quarterly production report another Queensland coal producer, New Hope, said pricing for thermal coal was likely to stay elevated for the foreseeable future “with the potential for the market to structurally shift to materially higher, long-term levels than those realised in the past”.

New Hope said it was also working in restart plan for the Acland mine while it awaits approval from the hotly contested expansion project.





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