Gujarat kicked off Longwall 11 at its Wongawilli operation near Wollongong in February, and in mid-September the width of this panel was reduced to help the face move closer “to previous worked out areas” in the Wongawilli seam.
While development of the small Nebo panels is on track, the company has mobilised a second development unit to drive the Longwall 20 and Longwall 15 panels, and for the tailgate of Longwall 16.
Gujarat also managed to widen the installation face and drive-head installation area of Longwall 19 “without using a continuous miner”.
The company said other activities are on track for completion before Longwall 19 starts up.
Over to the Wonga West development project, RUS Mining (previously known as Resco Underground Services) is mobilising equipment after winning the initial driveage contract now that both access portals are complete.
The new bathhouse at the colliery was also opened during the recent quarter to cater to the site’s growing workforce.
The nearby NRE No1 colliery remains on track to kick off longwall mining by December 2011 even though an overlying sill has slowed down development rates.
On the last day of September a roof collapse trapped two miners for two hours at the colliery, although fortunately did not cause any injuries.
“The fringe of the sill affected area has now been reached,” Gujarat said.
“As such greater improvements in productivity are expected in the next quarter.”
In September contractor UGM started production in Tailgate 4, the first gateroad of the colliery’s first longwall block in the Wonga East area.
Development of Maingate 4 is expected to start up in January pending state environmental approvals.
A new Joy 12CM30 continuous miner is expected to be underground in time for the job.
The P/R drift project to drive two drifts to establish access between the Bulli seam and the underlying Wongawilli seam is more than 50% complete and due for completion in early 2011.
Gujarat brought in an electro-hydraulic drill rig to introduce shot firing to the P drift to speed up “productivity”
Valley Longwall International is undertaking gas drainage drilling in the Wongawilli seam areas, which includes the overlying Bulli seam.
“This is a new approach to drilling in the South Coast and has provided some good results to date,” Gujarat said.
“Future option for the longer term recovery and utilization of the gas are also being considered.”
Gujarat’s total production from continuous miners and its Wongawilli longwall reached 460,000t in the September quarter, up 74% from the previous three months.
The company’s stage 1 plans for five years of mining at NRE No1 are on public exhibition.
“The report for stage two will be finalised, submitted and approved as quickly as possible as this includes increased production up to historical levels of 3 million tonnes per annum and an upgrade to operations providing continuance for up to 18 years,” Gujarat said.
The company’s plans for its Wongawilli colliery to cut another six panels and mine in the Nebo area are also under public exhibition.
While this project aims to extend mining for another eight years, Gujarat said work has been initiated to further extend mining beyond this time.
Gujarat shares are unchanged at 65c this morning.