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The Blair Athol site. Image: TerraCom

TerraCom has extended the life of its Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin by approximately 10 years.

The announcement comes after TerraCom engaged Deswik Mining Consultants to complete an updated assessment of the Clermont operation.

As of June 30, 2021, the Blair Athol marketable reserves totalled 19.5 metric tonnes, and with a two-million-tonne sales profile, it’s estimated there’s another 10 years of life in the mine.

TerraCom executive chairman Craig Ransley is excited by what’s to come of Blair Athol.

“This latest JORC reserve result means that the Blair Athol operation will effectively be able to operate for 14 years under TerraCom ownership,” he said.

“Blair Athol has already contributed significantly to the TerraCom group and we look forward to a further 10 years contribution from the operation.”

TerraCom acquired the thermal coal mine from Rio Tinto in 2017 via the former’s subsidiary Orion Mining after Rio had closed the mine and placed it under care and maintenance since 2012.

In April, TerraCom was forced to defend the authenticity of the coal at Blair Athol, denying allegations the company was involved in a fake coal sampling investigation.

The investigation and subsequent 2020 court case centred on allegations that lab testing and certification company ALS had helped TerraCom to falsify its coal quality results to increase the coal’s worth.

On August 10, TerraCom advised July 2021 operating EBITDA results of $13.6 million for Blair Athol. This represented a cash margin of $58 per tonne.