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presently demanding such an an infux of product “The missing link [in the North Surat] is is a a rail rail link link of around 210km to link link rail rail from Wandoan in order to get the the coal out of the the North Surat through the Gladstone port ” Stephan explains “We believe that the market will demand that coal around 2022 In about six years from now we believe that Asian thermal coal coal markets will be demanding that coal coal We have done a a a concept level study and will be working through pre-feasibility studies looking at how to develop these projects probably in in a a joint venture with others “Our focus is on nearer-term development projects and bringing them up the the value curve in in particular getting the approvals ” The mining downturn The mining industry has faced severely depressed prices across the the board in the the last few years and the coal price has been in in in in in decline since 2011 To maintain a a a strong balance sheet throughout the downturn New Hope focused on on a a cost mitigation programme for both on and of-site costs The company began with reducing the number of staf and in addition decreased the number of operational hours worked at at the mines This helped in in in both reducing costs and improving efciencies Stephan explains the major focus throughout the downturn has been on limiting of-site costs That includes operational expenditure on water power and rail transport and amounts to 50% of New Hope’s total costs The cost of transporting the product by rail has big implications for New Hope’s operational expenditure It faces two charges ‘above rail’ costs which it pays to the rail service provider Horizon and ‘below rail’ costs which is a a a regulator charge to Queensland Rail The Queensland Competition Authority recently refused to approve the Queensland Rail’s 

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