Anglo American announced the commissioning of its Grosvenor metallurgical coal longwall operation in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, Australia. The Grosvenor project, which was approved for development at the end of 2011, has delivered its first coal from its longwall seven months ahead of schedule and more than $100 million below budget.

Anglo American expects Grosvenor to produce 3.2 million metric tons (mt) in 2016. At full capacity, the Grosvenor longwall is capable of producing 7.5 million mt/y. When fully ramped up, Grosvenor is expected to operate at an all in sustaining unit cost of A$110/mt (or $82/mt at the current exchange rates).

Seamus French, CEO of Bulk Commodities for Anglo American, said, “We have delivered the Grosvenor metallurgical coal project ahead of schedule and below budget, with an outstanding safety record and in line with our environmental obligations. The Grosvenor mine project has taken more than 7 million man hours to construct, with almost 6,000 personnel inducted onto the project.

“We began the installation of the longwall just 24 days before its first shear and production of coal — a truly remarkable feat and a result of the team’s technical expertise and the modular approach we have taken to our underground longwall operations in Australia. We look forward to shipping the mine’s high-quality product to our steel customers across Asia as production begins to ramp up in the months ahead. While Grosvenor may not fit Anglo American’s strategic portfolio choices, its long-term commercial attractiveness is beyond question.”