Longwall production reaches new peak

Staff Reporter

TOTAL production from Australia’s longwall mines climbed 13% in calendar 1999, reflecting contributions from new mines and higher output from several established operations. The production total of 75,352,600 tonnes (longwall and development output from 35 mines) represented 25.2% of Australia’s total raw coal output.

In the major coal export states of New South Wales and Queensland, longwall mine production represented 26% of total raw mine production, a new high for the longwall sector. More than 86% of Australia’s underground coal production is from longwall mines.

Calendar 1999 production included output from the new Oaky North and Moranbah North mines in central Queensland, while Kestrel (ex Gordonstone) in Queensland and New Wallsend No.2 (ex Gretley) in NSW recommenced longwall mining during the year. The Oakdale mine on the NSW south coast ceased longwall production in June 1999.

Calendar 1998 longwall mine production, as reported in Australia’s Longwalls (March 1999), was 66,576,400t from 34 mines.

The top five mines in 1999 were Newlands (total production 5,552,100t), Oaky Creek (4,131,100t), Moranbah North (4,095,200t), South Bulga (3,978,700t) and Crinum (3,464,300t).

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