Tough year at Vale Australia

WHILE Vale global coal director Decio Amaral resigned from his Brisbane-based role last month to pursue other opportunities, both the Integra and Carborough Downs longwall mines had a challenging 2010-11 financial year.
Tough year at Vale Australia Tough year at Vale Australia Tough year at Vale Australia Tough year at Vale Australia Tough year at Vale Australia

Integra Underground, courtesy Vale.

Blair Price

The Carborough Downs mine in Queensland is yet to ramp up to its nominal annual production capacity of 4.8 million tonnes per annum run of mine since it was commissioned in 2009.

The mining area is known to host geotechnical challenges and Vale’s 5.5Mtpa ROM Ellensfield longwall project is even based on using Carborough Downs’ coal handling and processing plant.

According to data supplied by Coal Services, Carborough Downs hit total ROM production of 1.96Mt for the 2010-11 financial year, which was a 1.5% improvement from the previous year but still far off the 4.8Mtpa goal.

The Integra longwall mine in New South Wales produced a total of 1.44Mt ROM in the recent financial year, which was almost an 11% fall from the previous year.

This longwall operation might not post more typical production numbers until the December quarter, as it was closed for safety reasons on July 12 after methane gas was discovered in the longwall tailgate.

A longwall move was believed to have contributed to ventilation problems, and Integra was recruiting for a new senior ventilation and gas drainage engineer last month.

In mid-August Amaral tendered his resignation to “pursue new personal and professional opportunities in Brazil”.

But the Brazilian also expressed his faith in the Vale Australia team.

“The exciting journey of growth and expansion that we’ve started is set to continue and I have complete confidence in the team who are onboard to guide the company forward,” Amaral said before he left Vale.

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