After 21 years of operation, the Crinum underground mine has reached the end of its productive life with the final longwall panels mined on Monday 9 November.
More than 176Mt of coal was mined during the Gregory Crinum complex’s 36-year history.
Crews finished by eclipsing the previous monthly production record by about 30,000t and setting a new record at the Gregory coal preparation plant.
The Gregory open cut mine opened in 1979 and operated until 2012 when it was put into care and maintenance.
Development of the Crinum underground mine began in 1994 and first coal was produced in 1997.
The mine has produced hard coking and thermal coal for customers in South and East Asia, Europe, the Americas, India and the Australian market.
The mine will transition to care and maintenance during the first quarter of 2016, once the last coal has been processed and railed to Gladstone for export.
BMA has worked closely with its workforce to determine the best pathways for them following the end of production at the mine, including future employment options, according to BMA general manager at Gregory Crinum Barry Mitchell.
The mine had been an integral part of the Emerald and Central Queensland communities for 36 years and final coal marked the end of an era, he said.
“Our employees have taken great pride in striving to finish coal production with record breaking performance and they can be very proud of their efforts,’’ he said.
“BMA has worked closely with our employees and the local community to manage any potential impacts associated with the transition to care and maintenance.
“Despite the challenging coal market we have been able to provide the majority of our employees with either their preference for redeployment, or a voluntary redundancy.”
Of 118 Enterprise Agreement employees working at Crinum Mine, 68 are being re-deployed to other BMA mines and 50 have chosen to take voluntary redundancy packages.
Of 61 BMA staff at the mine, 54 have taken redundancy packages and seven are being redeployed to other BMA mines.
About 20 operators will remain working at the site until the last coal is railed out, and a workforce of five staff plus casual tradespeople will maintain the site during care and maintenance.