Following restart of longwall operations in April, after a $4.5 million remediation program over 300,000t of coal was produced during the June 2001 quarter. Over the next 12 months, run of mine (ROM) production is expected to be 1.4Mt. Subsequent expansion is planned to 2.4Mt by year three and to over 3Mtpa thereafter.
Thiess have invested $11 million to acquire a 10% interest in colliery operations. Thiess has been awarded an eight-year alliancing contract to operate the colliery after the completion of its existing two year schedule of rates contract.
Development ahead of the longwall was expanded during the quarter with the addition of two continuous miners to the existing one unit. Development metres advance during the quarter totaled 1109m. The expanded development teams have been put in place to develop ahead of the initial production panels when the mine expands to 2.4Mtpa.
The colliery is currently building up inventory of product coal prior to the scheduled six-to-eight-week shut down of production to facilitate preparations for the extraction of the upper part of SL2 block.
“One of the immediately important initiatives Thiess has brought to the colliery operation has been their approach to safety, starting with the establishment of high standards of house keeping and procedures, and an approach that has insisted on these standards being achieved. Thiess have already achieved 100 days in which no lost time injuries were incurred,” Gympie said in a statement.
Thiess bought a 10% stake in the Southland mine as part of a long term strategic alliance with Gympie, which retains 90%.