Broadmeadow ramp up

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance is targeting 6.7 million tonnes per annum of production from its Broadmeadow mine in Queensland which started longwall top coal caving operations last year.
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Bolting at Broadmeadow, image courtesy of BMA.

Blair Price

“The ramp-up has been made a bit more aggressive,” Broadmeadow general manager Barry Mitchell told The Australian with the mine previously targeting 4.8Mtpa.

While this mine was also one of the first to implement Longwall Automation Steering Committee automation technology, management are not overlooking operational strategies to lift output.

This includes lifting operation hours of the longwall to a target of 100 hours per week from 60 to 70 hours a week.

“The focus on hours is part of bottleneck-targeting at all the coal operations,” the newspaper reported.

“At the open-pit mines, truck hours are being targeted to ensure all are running at the maximum per month, as are the hours of operation of wash plants and the massive draglines that remove earth from on top of coal.”

While BMA has reportedly notched up more than $US1 billion in savings in the last financial year,

BHP coal president Dean Dalla Valle is targeting more.

“We haven’t got all of our trucks running at 6000 hours (per month),” he told the newspaper.

“We haven’t got our wash plants running at 8000 hours and the longwall is not running at 100 hours a week. We have targeted the bottleneck everywhere but there’s still at least 10% to 15% left in most places to pursue.”

He said there were two further options once operations were “humming” at their intended capacity.

“You can either take more volume or you can say I’m just going to park up some of my trucks (and take cost savings),” he told The Australian.

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