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The Millennium and Mavis Downs coal mine. Image: MetRes

MetRes and associated company M Mining have struck first coal from their Mavis Downs pit at the Millennium mine in central Queensland.

The achievement comes after MetRes completed its acquisition of the Millennium and Mavis Downs mine in July, before mining commenced a month later.

According to M Mining owner and director Matt Latimore, the metallurgical coal is validation for his company’s hard work.

“Since commencing operations in August with an innovative mine restart plan, this has been an important early production milestone for us,” Latimore said.

“Achieving first coal so quickly is the result of a fantastic effort from our partners, suppliers, managers and workforce.”

It was first announced the mine would be acquired from Peabody Energy in April.

“Since announcing the acquisition of Millennium in April we have said that this will be a low capital, fast to market asset, producing high-quality coal,” Latimore continued.

“In the nine weeks since completion of the sale of Millennium mine, M Mining has established a strong operating team and issued $464 million in contracts for auger, auger support, open cut and underground.

“Our work is underwriting the future growth of this operation, economic activity and local employment opportunities.

The milestone came a day after a new historic high of US$380/tonne ($523/tonne) was recorded for Australian hard coking coal.

The next step for M Mining is to commence open cut mining at Millennium by November.

When the sale was completed in July, Latimore said the project was evolving nicely from an operational perspective, revealing the initial hopes was first coal by next month.

“We are well advanced towards operational recommencement, initially by open cut and auger production for delivery of product to market in October 2021,” he said.

“Rail and port contracts have been executed and we are experiencing strong enquiry for our high-quality met coal.”