Newstan longwall clears fault zone

AFTER two months of problems, Centennial Coal announced today that its Newstan longwall had successfully mined through the fault zone that had been causing headaches for mine management.
Newstan longwall clears fault zone Newstan longwall clears fault zone Newstan longwall clears fault zone Newstan longwall clears fault zone Newstan longwall clears fault zone

Centennial Coal's Newstan operation.

Angie Tomlinson

The New South Wales mine had been experiencing problems since late September, when workers tried to mine through a faulted area on the longwall face. Conditions on the face deteriorated and an "extensive roof fall" occurred.

 

With remedial work ongoing, the mine hit another snag on October 7 when underground employees were withdrawn from the mine due to an unstable underground atmosphere which arose from a higher than usual gas content.

 

On October 18, similar atmospheric problems recurred and the miners were withdrawn again.

 

With the faulted zone now behind it, Newstan will resume normal production and mine the remainder of the current block, starting December 1. The current block is 1.2km long, containing 1.3 million tonnes of coal.

 

Clearing the fault zone will relieve management and shareholders, as production delays had resulted in a 15% shortfall of budgeted mine production.

 

Mine management said Newstan would commence its next longwall changeover in April 2006, during which a new $A10 million armoured face conveyor would be installed.

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