Premier mine

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The Premier mine is an open cut coal mine located near the town of Collie in Western Australia. The mine is owned and operated by Premier Coal, a subsidiary of Wesfarmers Resources Group which in turn is a part of the larger Wesfarmers company. In late September 2011 Wesfarmers Resources announced that it had agreed to sell its Premier mine to Austar Coal Mine Pty Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yancoal Australia Limited (Yancoal) for $296.8 million.[1]

Coal from the mine overwhelmingly supplies the domestic West Australian power station market. While the company states on its website that "export of raw coal has been minimal to date"[2] it has been pointed out that demand for coal from the Collie Basin "is handicapped by its high moisture content."[3]

2010 production

In its 2010 annual report Wesfarmers states that "total production of 3.5 million tonnes was up 26.0 per cent on last year and sales of 3.6 million tonnes were up 37.2 per cent. Premier Coal became sole supplier to Verve Energy from 1 July 2010 and continued to develop the Premier Power Sales business".[4] The company states that the mine has 138 million tonnes of reserves, of which 111 million tonnes are proved and 27 million tonnes inferred. It also states that Premier’s reserve coal is on a 26.5 per cent moisture basis and that "an estimated 77 million tonnes of the reserves reported for Premier will be sold under pre-existing customer contracts, with the balance of 61 million tonnes (i.e. assumed non-committed component of the reserves) expected to be sold at, generally, higher average prices.". The company states that the coal resource for the mine is 535 million tonnes of which 365 is measured resources. However, the company notes that the moisture content of the coal is 25%.[5]

On its website, Premier Coal states significantly higher production figures, presumably based on older data. It states that "total coal production from Collie is currently in the order of 6.5 million tonnes, with over 80% used for power generation and steam raising (Verve Energy and Worsley). The remaining coal is consumed in synthetic rutile production by Iluka Resources (Capel and Narngulu) and Tiwest (Chandala) and cement production (Cockburn Cement). Small quantities of coal are also used as a heat source by industry and nurseries."[2]

The company also states that it is "the sole supplier of the Collie A power station (1-1.2 million tonnes per year) and also supplies nearly 2 million tonnes to Muja Power Station. Both of these are serviced by a conveyor from the mine site. Coal is also delivered by rail to Kwinana Power Station."[6]

Since commencing operations in the 1950's the mine has, according to the company, "supplied approximately 90 million tonnes of coal".[7]

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Articles and resources

References

  1. Wesfarmers Resources, "Agreement to Sell Premier Coal", Media Release, September 27, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Premier Coal, "Uses of Premier Coal", Premier Coal website, accessed December 2010.
  3. Brian Robins, "Wesfarmers sells coal mine for $90m profit", Sydney Morning Herald, September 29, 2011.
  4. Wesfarmers, "Wesfarmers Limited 2011 Annual Report", September 2011.
  5. Wesfarmers, "Wesfarmers Limited 2011 Annual Report", September 2011, page 174.
  6. Premier Coal, "Our Customers", Premier Coal website, accessed December 2010.
  7. Premier Coal, "Company profile", Premier Coal website, accessed December 2010.

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