Paringa Resources is all set to move ahead with the development of the Poplar Grove coal mine in the Illinois basin having awarded a contract to Pollard & Sons Excavating for the excavation and site development works.

The company said that it will break ground on the Poplar Grove mine next month, with coal production slated to begin a year later.

Under the contract which was given through a competitive bidding process, Kentucky-based Pollard & Sons Excavating will carry out excavation and development operations related to the box-cut development and mine site area, preparation plant facility area, refuse area at the mine and also the barge load-out facility area on the Green River.

Paringa CEO Todd Hannigan said: "The tendering process for all major capital items is now closed and the Paringa team has conducted an exhaustive and competitive final bidding process.

“Paringa's approach generally has been to mitigate risk as much as possible and as such, the Company is focused on executing appropriate contracts for the major capital items to build the Poplar Grove Mine to ultimately mitigate price and timing risk to the extent possible.”

Paringa Resources stated that the contract sum is same as the amount it allocated in the coal mine budget in its final bankable feasibility study released late March.

The coal miner had committed to an initial capex of $44.7m to develop the coal mine which is expected to have an average annual production of 2.8Mtpa and a mine life of 25 years.

Paringa has also secured 100% of the surface property for the location of the proposed Poplar Grove coal project and Buck Creek barge load-out facility.