Bens Creek Group PLC (AIM:BEN, OTC:BENCF), the owner of a metallurgical coal mine in North America, said it exercised an option for Mega Highwall Mining LLC (MHW) to operate a second highwall miner on its behalf, doubling its monthly production capacity.
A formal agreement with MHW for the supply of a second high wall miner will be concluded next month under similar conditions to the first high wall miner supplied by MHW, including a production target of between 32,000 and 40,000 tons of metallurgical coal per month.
“High rise mining machines are generally rare and command a market premium,” said general manager Adam Wilson. “By operating two high-rise miners simultaneously, this will increase our production capacity up to 80,000 tonnes per month.”
AIM-listed Bens Creek announced last October that MHW would be responsible for the production of its metallurgical coal reserves for an initial period of 12 months under a contract for a minimum production capacity of 40,000 tons of coal per month.
Bens Creek said it expects to receive a permit next month for the area to be mined by MHW using the second highwall miner.
In February, the coal producer announced the purchase of its own high-rise miner and associated mining equipment which, when refurbished, will allow the company to have a backup high-rise miner for s ensure that production is not affected by planned or unplanned downtime if any of the machines operated by MHW become inoperative.
“With the addition of another highwall miner to the site, the recently acquired highwall miner will ensure that two highwall miners are operational at all times,” Wilson said.