AIMEX FOCUS: Conveying the right message

A NUMBER of leading suppliers will use this year's Asia Pacific International Mining Exhibition to make a statement about their capabilities and strong position in the marketplace. One of these is Continental Conveyor, which claims to be the leading design and manufacturing company for state-of-the-art coal conveyor systems in Australia.

Staff Reporter

Continental says it has experienced significant new growth in demand for high production coal clearance systems over the past five years, enabling it to build a solid reputation for design excellence.


“Today Continental Conveyor is contracted to undertake the majority of coal clearance systems projects in Australia and is currently working on the BHP Dendrobium coal project in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, which is the country’s biggest coal project at the moment,” the company said.


Sales director Dave Goodwin said demonstration of Continental's ability to handle the engineering challenges that came with technically difficult conveyor systems meant it was being contracted for an increasing number of projects that required ingenuity in thinking and application to produce desired results.


Continental recently completed the significant first stage of the Tahmoor Colliery North West Trunk project in NSW and had since been awarded further conveyor packages at the same site.


Another challenging project recently undertaken involved the re-engineering and upgrading of the conveyor systems for the Beltana highwall in the Hunter Valley region of NSW, for Xstrata. The project required a considerable amount of engineering horsepower coupled with rapid turnaround of fabrication and refurbishment.


“We came up with a design that enabled the upgrade to be done very economically through the reutilisation of the majority of existing equipment and the employment of smart technology. Once the upgrade is complete, Beltana is marked to become the most productive mine in the country,” Goodwin said.


He said highwall mining was an economical way to produce coal in today’s climate and similar projects were being considered elsewhere.


“Highwall mining is a desirable option due to the reduced development costs and mains driveage. With highwall mining you punch directly into the seam off the mine’s highwall following the coal seam, driving in maingate block lengths that average 3km. Coal is extracted by conventional longwall methods and each successive maingate conveyor system discharges typically onto a common trunk system running along the face of the highwall.


“There are hundreds of kilometres of highwalls in Australia, as a result of opencut mining, which are not being utilised today. Potentially this is the way for the future and the success of current highwalling operations is under scrutiny by the industry.”


With the company’s success in China and South East Asia adding to its penetration into the Australian marker, Goodwin believes Continental's decision to exhibit at AIMEX will provide further opportunity to expand its profile in the region.


“AIMEX is an ideal launch pad for us to get first point contact for South East Asian clients that we don’t already deal with and to meet with those we are already transacting with to discuss their current and future needs,” he said.

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