The contractor successfully completed the longwall surface build, which was phase one of the project.
At its annual general meeting, Delta DSB chairman Gordon Galt confirmed it expected to commence the phase two dismantling and installation process in early January 2012.
“The project is a significant milestone for Delta SBD as it establishes a relationship with both a longwall original equipment manufacturer and a new mine operator, which we expect to further develop in coming years,” Galt said.
Shortages of skilled operators at the Narrabri mine in New South Wales is expected to push out the commissioning of the longwall to mid-April next year, Whitehaven revealed last month.
Galt said the mobilisation for Delta SBD’s new drivage development contract with Narrabri had also been progressing well.
Around 60 new employees will be needed to deliver the project and Delta SBD will increase development units from four to six for the 2012 financial year.
The scope of work includes provision of supplementary labour hire (including management and supervision), two loaders, two personnel transporters for control and operation of the Narrabri twin miner development panel.
Currently, Delta SBD operates three development units for BHP Billiton at Appin and one for Boral at Berrima in NSW.
Delta SBD expects its links with major mining companies like Whitehaven to grow its order books in the future.
It has a workbook of $260 million for the next three years and a targeted pipeline of $348 million with $15 million of capital equipment to pursue further growth opportunities.
$98 million of the workbook will be expended in 2012, with 94 million in 2013 and $69 million in 2014.
“Delta is leveraged to the strong fundamentals of the underground Australian coal sector,” Galt said.
“The strong international demand for coal is underpinning growth in the Australian coal mining industry.
“ABARE expects growth in tonnage exported over five years of 13% for metallurgical coal and 42% for thermal coal.”