New Hope Coal
|Type||Public (ASX: NHC)|
Robert Milner (Chairman)
|Revenue||A$662.4 million (2011)|
|Operating income||A$719 million (2011)|
|Net income||A$503.1 million (2011)|
|Total assets||A$2749.2 million (2011)|
New Hope Coal is an Australian coal-mining and energy company. New Hope's operations include New Acland Mine, Jeebropilly Mine, New Oakleigh Mine and Queensland Bulk Handling. New Hope Coal is 61.11% owned by Washington H. Soul Pattinson and is headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland.
The early 1980s saw the commencement of coal exporting from the Ipswich region, with New Hope being one of the first companies to successfully obtain trials of Ipswich coal into the Japanese market. New Hope's first export shipment, 17,332 tonnes of Bundamba coal, was aboard MV "Floret" which sailed from the Maynegrain grain terminal at Pinkenba on 10 September 1980. Increasing export coal business dictated the need for a dedicated coal terminal, so a joint venture between New Hope and TNT Shipping and Development was formed to develop a coal loading facility at the Port of Brisbane. Queensland Bulk Handling (QBH) was commissioned at Fisherman Islands in 1983.
In 1984, 13 underground and eight open cut mines were in operation in the Ipswich region. Total production from these mines, which employed just over 1,000 people, was 2.9 million tonnes for the year.
Exports continued to increase to the point where, in 1986, New Hope's market mix had about-faced to 90% export and 10% domestic sales. Despite the district's increase in exports through QBH, which reached 1.6 million tonnes, the reduced requirements for the Swanbank Power Station and cessation of supplies to the Brisbane power stations resulted in a drop in production of close to 12%. Total production from the Ipswich area was 2.8 million tonnes (1.54 from open cut mines and 1.28 from underground operations). Two mines, Westfalen and Box Flat were forced to close due to the termination of their supply agreements with the Swanbank Power Station.
The increase in exports played a major role in restructuring the workforce in the district, with open cut mining being more cost effective to compete on the world market. By the beginning of the 1990s, only 230 underground miners remained employed by the underground mines of MW Haenke No. 2, New Hope Western Leases Nos. 1 and 2 and Oakleigh No. 3. Further decline in the profitability of underground mining meant the closure of the last underground mines in the district by mid-1997, leaving three companies in the Ipswich area operating four open cut pits.
At the end of the last century, the declining export market and Australian dollar increased pressure on the local mining operations, forcing further restructure. All facets of the operations were investigated to find cost-effective solutions. One of the results of this cost-cutting exercise was the cessation of barging coals along the Bremer and Brisbane Rivers with the last barge sailing 30 April 1998. It was the end of an era; coal had been barged to various sites on these rivers, the last of which was QBH at Fisherman Islands, since the 1840s.
Coal from the New Acland Mine was unable to be transported from the mine via rail after the Western railway line was damaged during the 2010–2011 Queensland floods. Trucks were used instead. By 2011, the company was exporting 65% of its coal, leaving 35% for domestic markets. In 2012, New Hope abandoned plans for its sale after it failed to find a buyer.
The company has plans to develop a new mine 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Maryborough, called the Colton mine. $200 million was paid to Northern Energy for the mining lease. Environmental concerns has been raised about the mine because it is expected to discharge 985 million litres into the Mary River.
In July 2008, New Hope entered into an agreement to sell its New Saraji Coal Project to BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) for A$2.45 billion. New Hope has identified more than 690 million tonnes of coal at New Saraji (534 million tonnes inferred and 156 million tonnes indicated) which is near the town of Dysart in central Queensland.
New Hope Chairman Robert Millner said the sale would assist New Hope in expanding its New Acland mine situated outside Toowoomba, and further development of New Hope's Queensland Bulk Handling port facility in Brisbane. This sale realises substantial value for the New Saraji project. The cash was earmarked to fund growth of the New Acland mine, which has continued to increase production to more than four million tonnes a year with an application to increase production to 10 million tonnes a year. The funds will also underwrite our successful exploration efforts in our extensive exploration tenements. New Hope Corporation was advised on the deal by Pitt Capital Partners.
- Ali Moore (24 September 2009). "Soul Pattinson chair discusses company's success" (transcript). Lateline Business. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- Francene Norton (15 February 2006). "Mine expansion sends Qld town packing". The World Today. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- "New Hope coal mine road link to create jobs". ABC News Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 29 November 2001. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- Sarah-Jane Tasker (23 March 2011). "Flooding hits New Hope coal shipments". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- David Dittman (6 October 2011). "New Hope Corp: Australia’s Thermal Coal King Announces Auction". Investing Daily. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- Tony Grant-Taylor (2 March 2012). "Group gives up hope for a sale". Herald Sun. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- "New Hope upbeat on mine prospects". Fraser Coast Chronicle (The Maryborough Hervey Bay Newspaper Company). 6 December 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2012.