Bandanna Energy has secured A$67.3m ($68.9m) from Credit Suisse to advance its Springsure Creek underground coal project in Australia.

The Springsure Creek project has an export capacity of 4Mtpa through the new Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) with first coal shipments targeted in the second half of 2014.

The additional funds will enable the company to further enhance project feasibility while it commits to the purchase of further land for development of the project.

Bandanna Energy managing director Michael said the significant opportunity that the new bank guarantee facility provides the company to maintain momentum in its progress towards development of Springsure Creek for first coal in the second half of 2014.

"This facility and the significant progress made on the Definitive Feasibility Study process, ensures that Bandanna is positioned to become Australia’s next coal producer" Gray added.

The latest financing deal with the financial services firm also releases A$50m ($51m) cash that Bandanna earlier availed to secure guarantees for the project’s port capacity for stage 1 of the WICET and related rail access agreements.

Bandanna is also moving ahead to submit a new mining lease application that would address the technical errors in the former application including a number of concerns related to the project.

The approvals timeline for the Springsure Creek underground coal project is governed by the assessment process for the EIS where the draft is scheduled for release in the September quarter of 2012.

Under the current exploration program, three drills are currently operating in Denlo Park, with underground production yet to commence in 2014.

Bandanna said all core was delivered to surface with 100% recovery and features a complete and solid Aries 2 Seam of 3.35m thickness which will deliver about 150kg for the advance testing process.