Newstan and Clarence kick-start Centennial

CENTENNIAL Coal hit 3.8 million tonnes for the September quarter, largely thanks to a record month at Newstan Colliery and the introduction of innovative changes at Clarence Colliery.
Newstan and Clarence kick-start Centennial Newstan and Clarence kick-start Centennial Newstan and Clarence kick-start Centennial Newstan and Clarence kick-start Centennial Newstan and Clarence kick-start Centennial

Angus Place longwall mine. Courtesy David Barnes, NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Angie Tomlinson

Coal production and sales well exceeded the corresponding period, largely due the inclusion of a full quarter’s production from the ex-Powercoal mines.

Record monthly production at Newstan for the month of September was 447,774 tonnes, 11% above the previous record high achieved in September 2002. Total output for the quarter was 1.2 million tonnes. (For a full report on Newstan's improved performance Click Here.)

In addition, the coal handling plant set a weekly throughput record of 109,352 tonnes.

Coal quality was diluted at the mine in July when excessive water was encountered on the longwall face when negotiating a known fault.

Following the successful trial and introduction of a new “super place change” mining unit at Clarence early in the quarter, production reached 25% above budget. The mine twice broke unit and shift records and set new daily, weekly and monthly records.

Angus Place production was on budget with longwall panel 27 producing 493,000. The northern blocks have now been concluded and longwall operations have been located to the new southern area, adjacent to old Springvale workings.

During the changeover a new face conveyor was installed, commissioned and tested and the mine’s coal handling facilities, including underground and surface conveyors and bins, were upgraded at a total cost of $20 million.

Springvale remained on track, with development continuing in preparation for the first of the longer, lower cost 3.8 kilometre, 355 metre wide longwall blocks.

As with Angus Place, a new conveyor will be installed, commissioned and compatibility tested during the next longwall change. At the same time a ventilation shaft and two service boreholes will be constructed, costing $10 million. An overland conveyor to Wallerawang Power Station is also nearing completion.

Mandalong, Myuna and Munmorah mines produced below budget for the quarter. This was mainly due to concentrating on development at Mandalong, claystone in the roof of Myuna affecting production and quality and Munmorah saw improved output with early positive results from the first low-height continuous miner.

The development at the Mandalong mine continued on schedule with the awarding of the tender for longwall mining equipment and a substation. Construction of the main underground surge bin, used to control the distribution of coal via the underground conveyors to two power stations, also commenced.

Centennial forecasted December quarter production and sales figures would be lower than the September quarter, due to three longwall changeovers.