Southern Highlands member Peta Seaton and lllawarra Coal president Col Bloomfield will visit Illawarra Coal’s Appin mine today to inspect the longwall, currently under construction in a “mini build” on the surface.
The new 300 metre-wide longwall replaces an existing longwall purchased in 1992, and will initially be used to mine Appin’s Area 3 while development at Douglas is completed.
The Douglas longwall is being developed by the company as a replacement for the diminishing reserves at Appin.
Illawarra Coal said its new equipment was in line with the latest technology longwalls, with provision for CSIRO’s Landmark Inertial Navigation System requirements.
“This will allow a higher level of automation on the face removing the operators from the immediate vicinity of the coal-cutting shearer and minimising their exposure to airborne dust. Exposure to airborne dust is also reduced by the operation of a shield water curtain and dust scrubber system,” the company said.
Training for Appin employees will begin shortly, with installation on the face to commence mid-September. Transportation of the equipment underground begins this month.
“A recent IRIS report shows that the economic impact of Illawarra Coal, including flow-on effects, is about 5900 jobs, $530 million in Gross Regional Product and $278 million in household income,” Bloomfield said.