Whitehaven managing director Tony Haggarty said the installation of 10,000 tonnes of equipment with installed power of 7 megawatts and the commencement of longwall commissioning completed the construction and development phase of the project.
“This is one of the most significant milestones for our Narrabri project and represents years of hard work and commitment from a large number of people,” he said.
“Power was connected to the longwall yesterday and we will now move through the commissioning process, during which we will gradually increase production.”
A three-month commissioning and ramp-up program is underway to bring the longwall to full production.
The Narrabri longwall is one of the most advanced of its kind, with the latest automation and safety features, according to Whitehaven.
The longwall is engineered and scheduled to produce approximately 6Mt of raw coal per year.
Narrabri raw coal is very clean and will yield approximately 95% of saleable coal after being processed.
Approximately 30% of the saleable coal will be a 7.5% ash product, suitable for metallurgical use (pulverised coal injection), with the rest a premium 12% ash thermal coal.