Coal mine sold for less than $1 reopens, to reach full production by year-end

One of Australia’s oldest open pit coal mines is now open again and its new owner TerraCom (ASX:TER) expects it to be producing at full capacity before year end.

Blair Athol had been closed since 2012 when former owner Rio Tinto shut down operations after almost 30 years of production.

Blair Athol thermal coal mine, located in Queensland, had been closed since 2012 when former owner Rio Tinto shut down operations after almost 30 years of production.

Despite efforts to offload the asset, Rio was only able to sell it last year. The transaction made world headlines as the mining giant only charged A$1 (about 79 US cents at today’s rates) for the mine. It also gave TerraCom A$80 million (roughly $63 million) for rehabilitation expenses.

TerraCom’s subsidiary Orion Mining expects to deliver first coal sales from the mine next month. For now, the company is focused on ramping up to 2 million tonnes of coal a year by early in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The reopening of Blair Athol is expected to create 150 direct positions and a further 450 indirect jobs once the operation it’s at full tilt.