Gujarat said components of the new Joy longwall had been installed underground, including the pump station and transformer, however the company still faced commissioning delays.
“Due to the coinciding of this longwall commissioning with other longwall change outs in other mines in the region including our own second mine, NRE Wongawilli, the company experienced some issues in sourcing some of the major longwall moving equipment, which has pushed the date of commencement of production from this new longwall by a few weeks,” Gujarat said.
The NRE No. 1 longwall start-up date was originally scheduled for December 2011.
During the December 2011 quarter, Gujarat said the construction and commissioning of the coal clearance system at NRE. No.1 faced some operational constraints.
It is now projected that the Stage 1 of the coal clearance system will be completed sometime in May 2012.
Following this, the completion of stage 2, to allow reclaiming of run of mine stockpiles and crushing to size, will be operational by July.
Gujarat stressed that the project delays it had experienced with the mine were not uncommon in brownfield project deliveries where significant mining infrastructure needed to be integrated with operating mining activities.
The NSW Department of Planning and infrastructure granted the preliminary works project for the NRE No.1 mine in October 2011.
The approvals marked a significant milestone for the mine, essentially supporting the development of all essential driveage for the first two longwall panels along with upgrading the coal handling and coal stockpile infrastructure.
The NRE No.1 is targeted to produce around 3 million tonnes per annum of coal by 2015.
The longwall system will have an initial face length of 145m, although there is an option that would allow it to be extended to up to 390m within five years.