Delta SBD starts Narrabri surface build

UNDERGROUND mine contractor Delta SBD has positioned itself for growth in the longwall installation market by starting the surface build of the long-awaited longwall at Whitehaven Coal’s Narrabri mine in New South Wales.
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Delta SBD's longwall surface build at Whitehaven Coal's Narrabri mine.

Lou Caruana

The work is being undertaken for Caterpillar Global Products which is supplying the longwall equipment to Whitehaven.

Phase one of the project is the surface build, while phase two is to dismantle the surface build and transport, and install the longwall underground. The second phase is expected to begin in early January 2012.

Delta SBD chief executive officer Stephen Bizzaca said: “The Narrabri longwall project is a significant milestone for Delta SBD as it establishes our relationship with both a longwall original equipment manufacturer and a new mine operator, which we expect to further develop in coming years.

“This longwall project demonstrates our strong capability in this type of work, and our ability to forge relationships with new clients.”

Delta SBD’s responsibilities include project management and supply of all resources (personnel, equipment and machinery).

The company’s new longwall diesel machinery – a 60 tonne extra heavy duty vehicle, 130t shearer transporter, two 15t multifunction units and three 55t hydraulic power assist chock trailers – will be immediately deployed for phase two of the project.

“The Narrabri project enhances our ability to undertake installation of the latest longwall technology which ensures Delta SBD continues to be well placed to deliver further growth for this type of work,” Bizzaca said.

Delta SBD announced in June it had purchased new continuous miners, a longwall diesel loader, chock trailers and a shearer transporter.

The NSW-based company, which recently floated on the Australian Securities Exchange, said it had placed the orders for the new equipment to give it an edge in the increasingly competitive contractor market.

The company’s new equipment includes one Joy 12CM30 bolter continuous miner, one Bucyrus FBL60 and two Bucyrus FBL15 diesel loaders, two Bucyrus 55t, 2 metre hydraulic power-assist chock trailers and one Industrea 130t diesel shearer transporter.

Most of the new equipment will be progressively delivered between August and December 2011.

The Joy continuous miner, which is scheduled for delivery in July 2012, would give Delta SBD a competitive advantage by utilising the latest available technology to provide safe and productive outcomes for its clients, Bizacca said.

It will be the company’s second continuous miner. The first, a Bucyrus 30MB, is permanently deployed at the Berrima mine in NSW, where Delta has a five year whole of mine operation under contract from Boral.

The new continuous miner will be deployed at one of the mines at which Delta is tendering for work. Additional continuous miner units are also being considered for some of these tenders.

The new longwall move diesel equipment – loaders, chock transports and shearer transport – will be the largest and only equipment of such capacity available for service in Australia, the company claims.

It says the equipment has been specifically designed to work effectively with the new large and heavy longwall installations being procured by Delta’s clients and has been ordered to ensure Delta maintains its position as the only Australian contractor that can provide a full service offering for longwall moves.