Bord and pillar steps aside for Newpac longwall

RESOURCE Pacific’s bord and pillar mine is struggling to maintain operations as the Newpac longwall development drains its contract labour and resources. To ensure the longwall is installed and commissioned by January, bord and pillar production will cease until December.
Bord and pillar steps aside for Newpac longwall Bord and pillar steps aside for Newpac longwall Bord and pillar steps aside for Newpac longwall Bord and pillar steps aside for Newpac longwall Bord and pillar steps aside for Newpac longwall

Resource Pacific's Newpac mine.

Staff Reporter

The company said over the three months to September 30, it had been unable to secure sufficient contract labour to maintain bord and pillar production at the same time as longwall development works.

Total production of 220,000 tonnes in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007 was lower than forecast while production from the longwall development reached 106,000t, compared to 35,000t at the same time last year.

The Newpac longwall will extract coal along a 250m-wide face and is designed to operate at 3000t per hour.

The major components comprise 145 roof supports, an Electra 2000 Series shear, a DBT PF5 pan line, a beam stage loader equipped with dust removal filters, two pump stations and a 5.5MVA transformer.

The longwall equipment has undergone thorough testing, with all of the major components proving to be compatible.

Most of the equipment is now at the mine ready for installation underground, scheduled for the first two weeks of November, the company said.

Installation will require all components being individually transported underground and assembled along an “installation roadway”, which is also the face line of the first longwall block.

Commissioning will commence once all components are reassembled underground with electrical, hydraulic and other support infrastructure in place.

During the quarter, development of the tailgate roadways was completed and drivage of the installation roadway and supporting roadways commenced.

The company said geological conditions remained consistent throughout the development with competent rib conditions indicating that limited secondary support will be required when the longwall is extracting, which will help reduce production costs.

“The lack of revenue from bord and pillar production, while all resources are focused on the longwall development, is expected to result in the company using its remaining cash reserves,” the company said.

“Sufficient bank facilities will remain in place to overcome any unforeseen difficulties in commissioning the longwall.”

The company said the shortfall of production from bord and pillar operations has been accommodated for in the sales program and accordingly, no coal purchases are forecast.

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