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Xstrata's Ravensworth underground goes to assessment phase

THE New South Wales department of planning is assessing Xstrata Coal's application to modify its Ravensworth underground mine as the company confirmed that it Ravensworth North open-cut expansion would not be affected by its rationalisation announced yesterday.

Lou Caruana
Xstrata's Ravensworth underground goes to assessment phase

“Our approved growth projects, such as Ravensworth North … are proceeding as planned, and remain on budget and on schedule,” it said.

Ravensworth North is approved to open cut mine utilising truck and shovel. This mine targets the seams of Foybrook and Burnamwood Formations.

The coal seams extend from the shallow Broonie seams through the Bayswater, Lemington, Pikes Gully, Arties, Liddell and Barrett Seams to the Hebden Seam. Ravensworth North mine has a proposed life of 29 years.

The company is also proposing to modify the currently approved mine plan for coal extraction for the Ravensworth underground mine within the Liddell Seam, comprising changes to the width, orientation and location of the longwall panels, in order to maximise the efficiency of coal recovery and allow for improved mine progression.

It is seeking to increase the approved life of mine to facilitate the complete extraction of the Liddell Seam by just over six years from the April 18, 2018 to July 31, 2024.

Also it is seeking approval for the installation of additional goaf wells to facilitate improved gas drainage and management.

While these wells may initially be fitted with free-vent stacks for a period of approximately six months, it is likely that they will be flared from commissioning.

It is also planning for the installation of a small bleeder ventilation shaft at the western end of every one to two longwall panels in the Pikes Gully Seam to provide intake air and enable sealing of the bleeder roadway.

These shafts will be “intake” shafts requiring no fan infrastructure.

The company has applied for approval to install and operate ventilation fans at shaft No. 4 with an overall greater capacity than those previously approved under DA 104/96 MOD 8.

The proposed configuration comprises three fans with a combined capacity of 550 cubic metres per seconds.

It is also seeking permission for the installation and operation of an air compressor house at ventilation shaft No. 4 surface facilities to power pneumatic tools and equipment in the underground mine workings and installation and operation of a borehole at ventilation shaft No 4 surface facilities to be used for the delivery of stone dust to the underground workings, together with an associated bulk stone dust storage tank.

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