Pike River awards construction contracts

CONSTRUCTION firm McConnell Dowell has been awarded the tunnelling contract for the $A120m underground Pike River development – set to become New Zealand’s second largest export coal mine.
Pike River awards construction contracts Pike River awards construction contracts Pike River awards construction contracts Pike River awards construction contracts Pike River awards construction contracts

McConnell Dowell Constructors custom built Temporary Roof Support in action

Angie Tomlinson

Project owner Pike River Coal Company (PRCC), majority-owned by New Zealand Oil & Gas, awarded the first two major construction contracts for the mine on Friday, with the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the road and bridges going to local company Ferguson Brothers.

 

McConnell Dowell’s win follows on from the company’s recent completion of a similar 1.2km tunnelling contract at the Mandalong coal mine in New South Wales.

 

At Pike River, McConnell will construct a 2.2km long, 4.5m high, 5.5m wide tunnel through extremely hard rock using standard drill and blast techniques. Following each blast, the rock will be stockpiled on PRCC owned land.

 

The tunnel is scheduled to intersect first coal in the March 2007 quarter.

 

Ferguson Brothers’ contract entails building an 8.5km long single lane road with passing bays from the coal processing plant to the mine tunnel (portal) entrance, to carry mine workers and equipment to the underground mine.

 

The road will be built from 4.5km of upgraded logging track and 4kms of newly constructed roadway. Six major bridges will be built.

 

Work on the access road has commenced this week, following Department of Conservation approval.

 

First coal production is scheduled by November 2006 with output building to more than one million tonnes per annum by 2008. The proposed mine will use hydraulic (high pressure water) extraction and continuous mining.

 

PRCC is now working on listing as a separate public company on the New Zealand Stock Exchange with a target date for an IPO by March 2006.

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