Year in review: Xstrata Coal

XSTRATA Coal continued full steam ahead in 2005 making several acquisitions, expanding operations and topping the production tables with its longwall star – Beltana.
Year in review: Xstrata Coal Year in review: Xstrata Coal Year in review: Xstrata Coal Year in review: Xstrata Coal Year in review: Xstrata Coal

Beltana punch longwall

Angie Tomlinson

The Beltana longwall mine in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley continued to head the Australian longwall production table, and in November achieved record production levels, breaking all of its own previous records and those of several other mines.

Development metres achieved during the month were an amazing 2495m, also a record for Beltana. Output off the longwall peaked at 50,613t on one day, and over one week measured 252,354t.

Still on longwalls, Xstrata announced in August it had given the go-ahead for the installation of a second longwall face at the Oaky Creek No. 1 mine in central Queensland.

The move is expected to boost the mine's current output of around 4.5 million tonnes per annum of coking coal to around 6.5Mtpa. The equipment for the second face came from the old Xstrata Coal-owned Cumnock mine in NSW.

On the surface mine side, Xstrata has been forging ahead with another opencut – the $A500 million Rolleston mine in central Queensland, which was winding up construction in September.

The mine will produce 5-6 million tonnes next year before reaching annual production of 8Mtpa thereafter.

On the acquisition front, just this month Xstrata said it had received the exclusive rights to apply for a licence to develop the 200 million tonne Donkin coal resource in Canada's Nova Scotia region.

The Donkin Alliance is owned by Xstrata Coal (66%), Kaoclay Resources (20%) and Atlantic Green Energy Development (14%).

Back in Australia, in September Xstrata bought the mining leases for the Newpac No. 1 Colliery from Iluka Resources for $A15.3 million. Resource Pacific has continued operating the mine.