Tasmanian coal mine on the cusp

TASMANIA-focused coal hopeful HardRock Coal Mining has stepped closer to its first bord and pillar operation on the state’s east coast after securing environmental and community council approvals for the 447 million tonne project.
Tasmanian coal mine on the cusp Tasmanian coal mine on the cusp Tasmanian coal mine on the cusp Tasmanian coal mine on the cusp Tasmanian coal mine on the cusp

Tasmanian coal train, courtesy HardRock

Justin Niessner

Aiming to be the first exporter of Tasmanian thermal coal, the Melbourne-based company said it expected the underground mine to produce 1 million tonnes per annum of brown coal upon reaching full capacity in 2015.

Surface construction is slated to begin in January 2013 with formal grant of the mining lease.

HardRock’s momentum in the state increased last week with the unanimous community council approval for the operation expected to employ 60 people over a mine life of 15 years.

Onsite activities will include extraction and transfer via shuttle car, conveyor and truck to a rail spur yet to be developed.

The company says the coal is of sufficient quality not to require any onsite processing or washing and will be removed in slurry form.

HardRock’s 25,500-hectare title for the site includes two exploration licences and proposes a 6ha mine footprint.

Mine development plans for the tenements are targeting to reopen the Barbers and Valley mines which operated in the area in the 1950s and ‘60s before being deemed economically unviable.

Surface construction mine development will initially occur with 1200m of roadway to be driven by a roadheader in a mixture of coal and soft rock. This process is expected to take 12 months.