There were plenty of disruptions in the last two weeks of January, which were then followed by coal chain stoppages in anticipation of Cyclone Yasi in early February, which fortunately did not have any major impact on the state’s coal mines.
However, the rail line between Brisbane and Mackay was washed out in several places, causing widespread supply shortages.
“Even the supermarket shelves were getting bare,” Jennmar Queensland technical manager John Naylor recounted to ILN.
“You had to be careful which day you actually went shopping because the deliveries to supermarkets were so erratic.”
Even when facing delays railing out the coal, management from Bowen Basin longwall mines aimed to sustain operations and were anxious about the prospect of running out of consumables, such as roof bolts.
Keeping the good faith with its customers in the region, Jennmar bore the additional costs of trucking out the roof bolt, cable and plate feed, JLok resin and other consumables in its commitment to maintain supply to minesites, despite the emergency flood conditions.
Naylor said the trucks from its Sydney plant had to first head “way out west” to dodge the flooded roads before they could start making their way east to Jennmar’s manufacturing facility at Paget.
Thousands of bolts of varying sizes were supplied, with Jennmar meeting its normal order intake during the disaster-plagued weeks.
Apart from the heavier logistical burdens, Jennmar could anticipate product demand due to its knowledge of its customers' needs.
The company also prepared to ramp up output from its Smeaton Grange plant in New South Wales to provide support for its Queensland plant in Paget near Mackay, should it have been needed.
“Having two manufacturing plants means that Jennmar is optimally placed to respond to unforeseen events and we are able to prevent stock out situations,” Naylor said.
“The customers have obviously been very appreciative. We are always mindful of our company slogan: 'Jennmar – Support you can trust underground'."