The operator has made a deal with Hasting Deering Australia for a 600-tonne Cat 6060 excavator for its Isaac Plains East site in the Bowen Basin, which will be supported by a trucking fleet to be supplied by Golding, a subsidiary of NRW Holdings. The machines will be used to move prime overburden in front of the dragline, it said, or overburden in dedicated excavator and truck pits to uncover coal.
Stanmore has secured a five-year loan with Caterpillar financial to finance the excavator.
"Once the environmental approvals are granted for the Isaac Downs project, it is planned that the excavator will transfer to Isaac Downs to commence the box-cut operation to establish the mine. Operations at Isaac Plains East will continue in parallel with the development of the Isaac Downs project," the company said.
In all, including the installation of additional workshop facilities and other equipment to support maintenance practices, Stanmore said it will invest approximately A$13 million (US$9 million).
In addition, the miner said it has adjusted its mining services agreement with Golding, adding the operation and maintenance for the excavator, as well as the trucking fleet supply to its deal.
"The inclusion of this additional fleet will enable Stanmore to operate the existing site infrastructure at capacity, which is matched to the port contracts," officials said. "With the inclusion of the additional fleet, Stanmore has retained its flexibility to scale up and down production through a cost-effective structure."
In related news, Stanmore also confirmed the completion of its bankable feasibility study for the underground portion of Isaac Plains. It said the study shows a "positive business case" for a new mine with prime production of 1.2 million tonnes per year on average from its second year.