Centennial readies to close Charbon

CENTENNIAL Coal has started planning for the closure of its Charbon Colliery in New South Wales, with underground mining scheduled to cease next year and open-cut mining at the 90-year operation slated to stop in 2015.
Centennial readies to close Charbon Centennial readies to close Charbon Centennial readies to close Charbon Centennial readies to close Charbon Centennial readies to close Charbon

Charbon continous miner operation in New South Wales uses the super-panel method. Courtesy Centennial Coal

Lou Caruana

The planning process includes integrating the closure design for the entire mine site, identifying the timing process and considering issues that relate to specific rehabilitation methods.

Centennial is now looking at nearby projects in the western district, including the mothballed Airly mine, in which to redeploy the local workforce.

“We recognise that facing the prospect of mine closure is a difficult time for our employees,” the company said.

“Despite Airly mine being placed on care and maintenance, Centennial is continuing with a project to renew its planning consent.”

The consent renewal seeks permission to operate in the existing approved mining lease as well as an extension of mining into the areas that are currently licensed for exploration. Airly’s consent is due to expire in October next year.

“It is hoped market conditions will improve and mining can recommence at Airly, which will provide an opportunity for redeployment of our employees.”

Charbon colliery is an underground bord-and-pillar and open-cut mine that initially supplied the former Charbon cement works until its closure in 1977.

Charbon continued to produce coal for local use until it was upgraded in 1985.

Its current production capacity is 1.3 million tonnes per annum and it predominantly supplies the export market, with some domestic sales to Sibelco.