Anglo American (JO: AMSJ )'s new Aquila mine in Australia is in the final stages of construction and commissioning. Anglo has a 70% stake in Aquila, with the other 30% held by Mitsui & Co Ltd.
The official geological term is that it has "achieved its first longwall shear of steelmaking metallurgical coal" - whatever that means. The good news for investors is that this was achieved on schedule and on budget, which is a language the accountants understand.
This extends the life of the Capcoal underground operations by seven years.
The project had a budgeted attributable cost of $226 million and has delivered a mine that has a total average annual saleable production of around five million tonnes of premium quality hard coking coal. As a further benefit, the existing infrastructure and systems from the adjacent operations will be used to achieve low capital intensity at this mine.
Interestingly, Anglo says that the mine is one of Australia's most technologically advanced underground mines. The group highlights the underground automation technology, remote operations and data analytics as being the key advancements.
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