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Anglo American gives tech-advanced Aquila coal project green light

Anglo American will extend the life of the Capcoal underground metallurgical coal operations in Central Queensland by six years after approving the Aquila project.

The company plans to spend $US226 million ($325 million) to revive the Aquila operation, which was placed under care and maintenance earlier this decade due to low coal prices.

Development of the Aquila project is set to begin in September and first longwall production is scheduled for early 2022.

Anglo American claims it will be developing Aquila into one of the most technologically advanced underground mines in the world, with features such as a remotely-operated longwall.

The company will adopt its FutureSmart Mining program, which aims to apply innovative thinking and advanced technology to address operational and sustainability challenges.

Aquila’s development will extend the mine life of the Bowen Basin operations to 2028. The project has been designed to annually produce five million tonnes of coking coal.

Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business chief executive, Tyler Mitchelson, said the company was leveraging the innovative work already under way at its existing sites and scaling the development of new technologies.

“Anglo American has been at the forefront of embracing innovation to drive the next level of mine safety and performance, and our Aquila mine will be developed as one of the most technologically advanced underground mines in the world,” Mitchelson said.

“We will pursue remote operation of the Aquila longwall, ensuring our people are removed from harm’s way, and the continued digitisation of our operations, using new technologies such as our Australian-first intrinsically safe underground electronic tablets. Read more…

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