Clermont kicks off

THE giant Clermont open cut coal mine in Queensland has delivered its first coal via a 13.3-kilometre conveyor to the nearby Blair Athol mine for export through the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal in early May.
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The first Clermont coal leaves the stacker/reclaimer. Image courtesy of RTCA.

Blair Price

Managed by Rio Tinto, the mine is expected to hit full capacity of 12.2 million tonnes per annum of high-quality thermal coal in 2013.

Clermont will replace the output of the Blair Athol mine, due for closure in 2016, but will use its stockpile and load-out facilities to rail out the coal.

The first delivery to Blair Athol was 5000t, with the coal travelling at 20km per hour on the conveyor which can handle up to 2750t of coal per hour.

“The first delivery of coal is an exciting milestone for Rio Tinto Coal Australia’s newest mine,” Clermont Mine general manager construction Dave Lamb said.

“Clermont Mine will contribute significantly to the sustainable development of the community through jobs and economic contribution.

“The mine currently employs 360 people, of which one-third live locally.

“At its full capacity, we expect to employ 380 people in total, working in shifts to keep the mine operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

With an expected mine life of 17 years, Clermont has 189 million tonnes of reserves from five coal seams.

Rio said the largest seam averages 30-40m and is up to 100m thick in parts.

The mine is expected to provide 100,000t per annum for domestic markets while the rest of the coal will be railed 278km to Dalrymple Bay for export, with the main customers in Japan, Korea and Thailand.

Construction stated in 2007, while the development of a box cut started in May 2008.

Coal was first uncovered in late February at a depth of 105m.

The Clermont joint venture consists of Rio (50.1%), Mitsubishi Development (31.4%), J-Power Australia (15%) and JCD Australia (3.5%).