About Us

Our Company

Established in 2010, HardRock Coal Mining Pty Ltd (HRCM) was created to fulfil our goal of becoming a proud Tasmanian company delivering quality export coal around the world.

HRCM has two major Research & Development (R&D) projects underway preparing for a unique mining operation which minimises our environmental footprint and improves mining efficiencies.

Known as the “Fingal Tier Coal Project”, we are committed to developing our unique resource in the Fingal Valley, Tasmania, Australia. With a mining lease and exploration licenses covering some 270 sq. kilometres of land and extensive exploration completed and underway, our reserve estimates continue to grow.

Production ready, HRCM received an Environmental Permit (No. 8651) from the Environmental Protection Authority Tasmania on 28 August 2012 and its Development Approval (DA) from the Break O’Day Council on 17 September 2012. The company received its Mining Lease (No. MLA 4M/2012) on the 17 September 2013.

Since then surface construction has progressed. The project is now at its next phase with underground construction scheduled for 2021.

The Project

Fingal Tier Coal Project

HRCM’s Fingal Tier Coal Project covers an area once known as the Valley Mines. Our expanded footprint overlays previous mining efforts first constructed in the mid 1900s.

Fast forward more than 100 years and today HRCM is bringing the site into the 21st century. We have all the development approvals in place to bring new jobs and renewed infrastructure investment to the site.

Initial approval of 1 million tonnes per annum establishes HRCM as a serious producer. The project is set to expand production levels beyond this, with medium term plans seeing a lift in production to over 1.8 million tonnes.

The mine site is in a state forest which was previously heavily logged. To minimise the environmental impact and further vegetation loss, our construction has utilised existing cleared areas and road cuttings.

The HRCM proposed development involves the establishment of a base for underground mining activities – including a workshop, staff amenities, an administration building and above-ground infrastructure. We will also reconstruct access roads.

TASRAIL Logistics

Project benefits are expected to be broad:

  • more employment opportunities for the North-East of Tasmania
  • a new export industry for Tasmania creating business and trade relationships with flow-on effects for service providers, trades and tourism
  • low environmental impact on previously de-forested land adjacent to where coal mining operations are currently underway
  • contributions to state revenues via royalties, mining-related fees and charges, and indirectly via commonwealth level payments
  • greater utilisation of state infrastructure including road, rail and port facilities


HRCM Executive Group

Craig Astill – Managing Director & CEO
B Bus. (IntTrade), B Bus. (Banking & Finance)

Craig has been engaged in international trade, finance, manufacturing and marketing for over 25 years in natural resources, semi-processed manufactured goods and telecommunications equipment. His primary regions of international trade experience have been in Asia, the Indian Ocean Rim, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Craig has been strategically involved with several Australian Security Exchange (ASX) listings, placements, mergers, acquisitions and funding projects. These have predominantly been in natural resources, mining services and ICT.

Stephen Thornton – Mining Operations
B.Sc (Hons) Mineral Exploration, 1st Class Mine Managers Crtificate

Stephen holds accountability for the group’s mining operations including resource strategy, exploration, mine development, mine construction through to operations. He also holds shared accountability for risk management and quality assurance.

Stephen’s career has been spent predominantly in the coal industry in the UK and Australia in senior roles including General Manager of Underground Operations at Donaldson Coal (now Yancoal/Gloucester Coal). Stephen has been instrumental in designing and bringing into production new coal mines in the Hunter Valley region of NSW. He has extensive experience in all aspects of mine planning, mine feasibility studies, mine construction and mine operations.

Andrew Barratt – Corporate Affairs
B Bus. (Eco), GDLS

Andrew holds accountability for the group’s compliance, public relations and people strategy, incorporating health, safety, environment, community relations (HSEC), employee relations and organisational development. He has shared accountability for group strategy, corporate governance and risk management.

Andrew is an experienced executive with demonstrated success in functional leadership roles in large scale resource operations with a focus on governance, communications integrated people planning and organisational change. He has held leadership roles in the finance sector (six years) and resources industries (16 years). Prior to joining the team, Andrew held positions in BHP Billiton and RIO Tinto Coal.

Joe Fekete – Financial Advisory and Company Secretary
B Bus. (Acc), FCPA, CIS

Joe is an experienced executive officer with a strong focus on financial advisory and operational excellence. He has gained broad experience in industries ranging from wholesale, retail distribution, mining as well as other ASX, multinational and private entities. He has consistently delivered business value by successfully leading corporate financial strategies. Joe has demonstrated success in supporting good governance and financial control in both listed and non-listed entities.

Dr Bala Kumble – Innovation, Research and Development

Bala holds accountability for the group’s innovation, research and development requirements, knowledge management, IT and systems management. He has shared accountability for group strategy.

Bala has extensive experience in Information Communications Technology (ICT), multimedia, biomedical, mining innovation and smart grid technologies. As a senior executive, he has led the development and delivery of large telecommunication infrastructures to corporate, government departments, including aviation, defence, banking & finance, in Telstra Corporation, Telecom New Zealand Australia, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Central Government of India. Bala has held several director level roles for the government of India and was Head of Interactive Multimedia Group in Telstra Corporation.

Bala is a former Senior Research Fellow with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and Victorian Chairperson for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Bala has published several research papers and is the author of several patents. In 2001 Bala was awarded the IEEE Millennium Medal for Outstanding Contributions.

HRCM Advisory Group

Peter Watson – Advisory Group Member

Peter is an accomplished senior executive and Company Director with over 25 years’ international experience in engineering, construction and services industries. Peter is a former CEO of global services group, Transfield Services and is currently sitting chairman of Logicamms Limited. He serves as Chairman of Regional Rail Link Authority in Victoria and AssetCo. Pty Ltd. Peter is a former Chairman of the Save the Children Australia.

Richard Krasnoff – Advisory Group Member

Rich came to Australia (Perth) in 1993 when he was with global management consultants McKinsey & Company. He was elected a partner of the firm in 1995. He left McKinsey in 1999 and joined Wesfarmers as a senior executive in 2000.

Since retiring from Wesfarmers in 2003, Rich’s main focus has been on non-executive directorships. He was on the Boards of ASX-300 companies including Grange Resources (GRR) from 2005-2009, and Conquest Mining (CQT) from 2004-2011 (Chair 2006-2010). In 2011, Conquest completed its ‘merger of equals’ with Catalpa Resources (CAH) to form mid-tier gold company Evolution Mining (EVN), with a market cap > $1 billion. As part of the merger, Rich stepped off the Board, similarly with the Grange Resources Board when it merged in 2009 with Australian Bulk Minerals to become an iron ore producer and a much enlarged company.

Richard Flory – Advisory Group Member
Richard is accountable for the group legal, contracts, insurance and risk management. He holds shared accountability for the group’s strategy and corporate governance.

Richard is a senior lawyer with substantial company and commercial law experience spanning a career of over 30 years. His roles have included both private and general counsel in cross border transactions, mergers, acquisitions and public offerings.

David Hodgson – Advisory Group Member
Dip Finance (FARSTA)

David is the founder and Managing Director of the Paladin Group and is a financial engineer who has designed and developed sophisticated and lucrative investment products for which Paladin is well known. He is a member of investment committees of industry super funds, two public companies, and three managed investment funds. He maintains accreditations with scores of financial institutions in Australia and is a holder of an Australian Credit Licence.

David is a sought after speaker at business conferences around Australia and overseas and is a lecturer at the Compass program at the University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia.

Strategy & Vision

“Creation of a new, strong, sustainable and environmentally sensitive thermal coal export industry for Tasmania.”

Our collective mission:

  • Produce export quality thermal coal
  • Be the first Australian company to export thermal coal from Tasmania
  • Promote positive community outcomes through employment, training, sponsorship and support
  • Demonstrate innovative and leading operational practices in the North East
  • Progress our R&D activities in mining systems, processes and equipment
  • Demand the highest standards of safety in our work environments
  • Engage with Tasmanian businesses to deliver wider benefits back into Tasmania
  • Provide strong and sustainable financial returns to investors
  • Meet the expectations of our markets and customers
  • Generate a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by applying technological innovation and balanced “intelligent” development