Beacon Hill says that the wash plant is designed to process coal from the existing underground and the developing opencast pit producing thermal coal for local markets and to allow the Group to produce product for trial shipments of export thermal and coking coal towards the end of the year.
Following the upgrade of the underground operation, production has increased significantly to 7,000t of coal in July, from the previous average monthly rate of 2,850t.
This is expected to further increase to over 8,000t per month in August.
Excavation of the 115,000t of overburden to expose the coal seam and allow the extraction of approximately 120,000t of thermal coal per annum from the initial opencast is now substantially complete.
“The wash plant will enable the Group to process an additional 120,000 tonnes of thermal coal from the initial opencast operation over the next twelve months, to complement existing and improving underground production which is estimated to be 8,000 tonnes in August further to the recruitment of an additional sixty employees,” said Beacon Hill executive chairman Justin Lewis.
“Coal will be sold to local users, generating additional revenues during the development period of the mine. At the same time the plant will enable the Group to produce a coking coal product for trial export shipments.”
The complete plant will consist of three sections namely a crushing section, DMS section and fines treatment section.
The plant is designed to treat run of mine coal with a feed size of <400mm and supply four saleable coal fractions.