26 Aug 2010

Pike River on track for hydro-mining start

8:59 am on 26 August 2010

Pike River Coal says it is on track to start hydro-mining in its West Coast mine from mid September.

The listed mining company lost $39 million in the year to June, triple the loss in the previous year.

Some analysts are concerned Pike River is running out of cash fast to develop its mine, particularly if the next export shipment is delayed.

Chief executive Gordon Ward says the company's cash situation depends on the mine's performance.

He says readying the mine for hydro-mining - which uses highly pressurised water to cut coal - is largely complete.

Mr Ward says the company has brought in additional mining equipment as it works towards ramping up production.

He says it is too soon to predict when the company will return to profit, as this hinges on its performance in the next financial year.