Depreciation and amortization declined by $3 per tonne due to the significant increase in coal reserves recorded in 2011 as a result of our drilling programs at our coal mines. Certain capital assets are depreciated on a units-of-production basis over proven and probable reserves.
The Quintette re-start project continues to progress on the basis of the study with an estimated capital cost of $858 million. The Mines Act Permit Amendment ("MAPA") application process is proceeding and we continue to expect to receive the permit approval in the first half of 2013 with first coal production expected in the first half of 2014. Early works activities, procurement of long-lead equipment and engineering, are progressing to support the project timeline. By the fourth quarter of 2014, Quintette is expected to be producing at an annualized rate of three million tonnes.
Neptune Bulk Terminals, in which we have a 46% ownership interest, is expanding its annual coal throughput capacity from 9 million tonnes to 12.5 million tonnes by the spring of 2013 with the addition of a second stacker reclaimer. Completion of the feasibility study for the next expansion phase, which may further increase capacity from 12.5 million tonnes to 18.5 million tonnes, was completed in the fourth quarter of 2012. The proposed upgrades will include a second railcar dumper and associated conveying system, a new rail track within the existing rail loop, the replacement of a ship loader and foundation reinforcement of the loading berth.
Work is ongoing to develop and implement a plan for the management of selenium at all of our operating coal mines in the Elk Valley. In the course of mining, we deposit large quantities of waste rock in the valley. Water flows through that waste rock and over rock exposed during the mining process, releasing small quantities of selenium, a naturally occurring element found in the native rocks in the Elk Valley. While it is necessary for good health in humans, selenium is detrimental to fish populations at relatively low concentrations. We have commissioned extensive studies into the environmental effects of selenium. These studies have not identified population level effects on fish in the Elk Valley, but they have identified a trend of increasing selenium concentrations in the valley which is expected, in the absence of mitigation measures, to increase further as future mine expansions increase the footprint of our operations. As a result, we have devoted substantial resources to developing and implementing mitigation measures, which include water diversion works to keep clean water clean, as well as treatment facilities to remove selenium from waters affected by contact with waste rock.
Because of the scale of our operations, the substantial quantities of water involved, and the very low concentrations of selenium, identifying and implementing appropriate treatment technology is a challenge. We expect to file with regulatory authorities a draft valley-wide selenium management plan in the first quarter of 2013. This will set out an integrated approach to the construction of water diversion and treatment facilities intended to achieve acceptable selenium concentrations downstream from our mining operations. Although the plan is not yet finalized, we believe that the costs associated with installing these facilities will be substantial. Our draft plan contemplates total capital spending over the next five years of up to $600 million on the installation of water diversion and treatment facilities, and annual operating costs by the end of that period of approximately $40 million per year. Water treatment costs are expected to increase further in future periods, as additional treatment facilities are required to manage runoff from new mining areas. While the amount of those costs will depend on the technology applied to control selenium, our current estimate, assuming no substantive changes in technology, is that over the long term treatment costs could ultimately reach $140 million per year, or approximately $6 per tonne, of coal produced. We expect that water treatment will need to continue for an indefinite period after mining operations end in order to maintain water quality.
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