Belt tightening at Illawarra to continue

THE belt tightening at South32’s Illawarra Coal is expected to continue for the next six months with the New South Wales producer targeting a 37% in reduction in costs by the 2017 financial year.
Belt tightening at Illawarra to continue Belt tightening at Illawarra to continue Belt tightening at Illawarra to continue Belt tightening at Illawarra to continue Belt tightening at Illawarra to continue

A stockpile of coal from South32's Illawarra Coal's Dendrobium mine

Lou Caruana

After successfully completing its $US565 million Appin Area 9 growth project below budget and ahead of schedule, the company is now expected to make operational savings in its other mines which include Dendrobium and West Cliff.

Total saleable coal production at Illawarra Metallurgical Coal decreased by 11% to 5.8 million tonnes in the nine months ended March 2016 as challenging geological conditions were encountered last year at its Appin and Dendrobium mines in New South Wales.

Three planned longwall moves were completed during the period.

A 35% increase in metallurgical coal production in the March 2016 quarter was underpinned by the recommencement of longwall mining at Dendrobium and the ramp-up of the new Appin Area 9 longwall.

Illawarra Coal division is proposing to make modifications to its Bulli seam operations at Appin and West Cliff.

The proposal seeks to more effectively manage methane gas during mining in order to maintain safety during longwall mining operations, according to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The project will involve constructing a pipeline between two existing ventilation shafts to convey the gas to the gas extraction plant operated by Energy Developments for electricity generation.

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