MIM reports rising coal output

FOR the quarter ended March 2001, MIM reported higher coking and steaming coal output.

Staff Reporter

At the 75% MIM owned Oaky Creek complex in Queensland, product coal output was 28% above the previous March quarter. The three underground longwall mines, Alliance, Oaky No 1 and Oaky North, produced 1.539 million tonnes (product coal, 75% share) over the March quarter. For the nine months to March 2001, total Oaky Creek production was 4.324Mt, (product coal, 75% share), up around 12% on the previous nine months.

MIM said all underground operations were performing well with the coal preparation plant operating at high availability and throughput rates.

A new fourth module at the coal preparation plant is expected to begin operating late in the June quarter, improving coal recoveries and providing some additional production capacity. Longwall panel changes are scheduled for both Oaky No 1 and Oaky North. MIM said the new longwall equipment to extend mining in the southeast area of Oaky No 1 has been ordered. It is expected to be operational early in calendar 2002.

At the 75% owned Newlands-Collinsville-Abbot Point complex, output was also higher than in the previous March quarter. Total production (75% share) from the NCA complex was 1.841Mt for the three months.

Production from the Newlands underground mine more than halved, compared with the same three months last year, to 330,000t. But total NCA production lifted to 1.841Mt (1.628Mt previous year), through the extension of open cut production. Newlands’ underground mine produced 1.827Mt (75% share) in the nine month production to March 2001.

A longwall move at Newlands underground is scheduled for the June quarter. Collinsville production was increased to meet market demand.