Beltana breaks 7Mt barrier

XSTRATA Coal’s Beltana mine in New South Wales continued its reign as Australia’s top-producing mine, with output a good 2 million tonnes more than the next best producer in 2005.
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Beltana miners

Staff Reporter

The Hunter Valley longwall mine produced 7.064 million ROM tonnes in 2005, a 13% improvement on last year. It was the only New South Wales mine in the top five big hitters.

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s Crinum operation in Queensland was the second-biggest producer with 4.806Mt output, a 15% improvement on 2004.

Anglo Coal’s Moranbah North operation takes third spot in this year’s rankings with 4.798Mt ROM coal, a 135% improvement.

Productivity improvements helped Xstrata Coal’s Oaky North improve by 16% to produce 4.716Mt, though a roof fall resulted in a production loss of 130,000t.

Consistently high producer, Rio Tinto’s Kestrel operation, improved by 19% over 2004 to produce 4.449Mt.

Three new mines made their debut in this round of stats. BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance operation Broadmeadow has produced 747,000t since longwall mining started in August last year. BHPB’s Dendrobium operation, which has been mining since April, produced a credible 2.520Mt, and Centennial Coal’s Mandalong mine produced 2.648Mt for 2005.

Anglo Coal’s German Creek Central mine – the first longwall mine in Queensland – wrapped up mining operations in December with a final production of 1.674Mt. Production from Anglo’s Southern operation dipped by 30% to 2.572Mt and is scheduled to wrap up by mid-year.

Australia’s longwall mines produced 79.728Mt ROM coal during 2005, 10% better than calendar 2004, according to Coal Services’ annual statistical review.