The bord and pillar mine is being developed at the German Creek complex in Queensland’s central Bowen Basin with mining to be undertaken by contracting company Bounty Industries.
Earlier reports indicated Bounty would produce about 1.5 million tonnes per annum ROM from the 1.5-1.8m-thick Aquila seam. Mine entry is off the highwall of the old German Creek opencast mine, with seven heading development and place change operations.
Mining will target the Aquila seam, 100m above the German Creek seam where Anglo Coal’s German Creek Central and Southern longwall mines are currently working. Bord and pillar mining will be located above the Southern operation and will only mine above extracted longwall panels to avoid subsidence stress.
To service the Aquila project, Bounty has just added a second Stamler 42in-continuous haulage system to its fleet, brought into Australia from West Virginia.
The new machine has mined 300,000t and has a further life of 3Mt before its next rebuild. Bounty said it required no rebuild work other than a replacement of electrical enclosures and motors required by law for operating in Australian mines.
Bounty expects to commission the continuous haulage system by March next year, replacing the shuttle cars that will be running in the Aquila seam production unit. Production capacity is expected to be boosted from 500,000tpa to a minimum of 750,000tpa.
“We are on schedule to commence the Aquila project in mid-October 2005,” the company said.
“We are currently mobilizing our equipment, and preparing our labour force at German Creek colliery. We still have a number of matters to finalise on the contractual arrangements, but both parties are committed to the project and are proceeding to commence production mining late-October 2005.”