Bloomfield pulls up stumps

BHP Billiton’s Illawarra Coal this week sends off its president Colin Bloomfield after he has overseen the highest production for the company in its 80-year history.
Bloomfield pulls up stumps Bloomfield pulls up stumps Bloomfield pulls up stumps Bloomfield pulls up stumps Bloomfield pulls up stumps

Former BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal president and current Mastermyne chairman Colin Bloomfield.

Lou Caruana

He also successfully commissioned the $160 million West Cliff preparation plant upgrade and secured $845 million to develop the Appin replacement area which will guarantee continuation of mining after West Cliff mine closes in 2016.

This week BHP Billiton reported that Illawarra Coal had posted a record annual production of 7.9 million tonnes.

Bloomfield, who has held the job since 2004, will be replaced by Illawarra Coal projects and engineering head Troy McDonald.

McDonald, who holds his master of business administration from Wollongong University, will work with Bloomfield until the end of August as part of the transition of the top job, which has responsibility for 1400 employees and 1000 contractors.

One of McDonald’s challenges will be managing the replacement area – Appin area 9 – which is planned to have a production capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per annum of metallurgical coal and would sustain Illawarra Coal’s production capacity at 9Mtpa.

The project includes roadway development, ventilation infrastructure, new and reconfigured conveyors and other mine services.

The development has received all necessary regulatory approvals and will include upgrades of the longwall machinery to increase the coal cutting rate in line with run of mine coal production at each longwall operation.

A longwall move at the Appin mine is expected to have only a minor impact on production in the September 2012 quarter.

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