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Aquila underground mine. Image: Anglo American.

Anglo American has extended its services contract with Mastermyne at the Aquila metallurgical coal project in Queensland for a further 12 months.

The $60 million contract involves development and outbye services by Mastermyne since August 2019.

In view of establishing a new longwall operation at Aquila, Mastermyne is tasked to undertake roadway development in the mains and gate roads of the mine.

The extension goes until March 2022 and includes the operation of an additional roadway development unit.

It requires the employment of a further 60 full-time personnel, adding to the 178 personnel already engaged from the original contract.

Up to half of the additional personnel required will be relocated from Anglo American’s Moranbah North coal project in Queensland by the end of March.

Mastermyne will continue to supply development equipment from its fleet, including a continuous miner and ancillary development equipment.

Mastermyne chief executive Tony Caruso said the company had been working to deliver major underground infrastructure and roadways safely and efficiently, and it looked forward to continuing its work with Anglo American to deliver the new longwall project.

“The company is very pleased to have extended this contract and undertake roadway development works. … It is pleasing to see projects progressing and building on Mastermyne’s already very strong order book,” he said.

Anglo American last year announced its plan to increase Aquila’s mine life by six years.

It is investing $240 million in the development, $200 million of which would be awarded to longwall suppliers and more than $20 million to civil works. The remaining will be invested in an overland conveyor system.

The company aims to deliver first hard coking coal from the longwall operation early next year.