Ravensworth gets green light

XSTRATA Coal has received state government planning approval to extend longwall blocks at its Ravensworth mine in the Hunter Valley and to increase production to 7 million tonnes per annum.
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Map showing Ravensworth mine in NSW.

Lou Caruana

The mine sought modification to its existing development consent DA 104/96 to enable recovery of additional resources from longwall panels 6 to 10 of approximately 750,000 tonnes through an extension to the western ends of longwalls 6 and 7, offset at 26.5 degrees angle of draw from Bayswater Creek.

It is also sought an extension to the eastern ends of LWs 7 to 10.

The mine has been given permission for a realignment of the mains within mining lease 1349.

This realignment will be subject to timing and mine progression and may not eventuate. If timing does not permit the mains realignment to occur, a roadway will be installed within this area to enable access to proposed ventilation shaft No 4.

The extension of longwall blocks and possible mains realignment would extend the underground footprint of the mine to east and west, the company said in its environmental assessment.

The mine will effectively be permitted to increase the rate of annual production from 5Mtpa to 7Mtpa of run-of-mine coal. It would also be able to increase coal recovery from 70% to approximately 80% of 7Mtpa, equating to up to 5.6Mtpa of product coal.

The mine would also be allowed to install additional surface support infrastructure to allow for gas management and adequate ventilation.

The mine sought improvement of materials access to work areas through the installation of additional concrete and ballast boreholes at the proposed new ventilation shaft sites and construction of access to the existing No.3 ventilation fan and shaft from Hebden Road, via an easement from Daracon and Glendell (an Xstrata-owned mine).

It also sought an upgrade of the existing access roads and tracks to the proposed ventilation and gas management surface infrastructure.

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