IMC named NSW mine of the year

ILLAWARRA Metallurgical Coal has been named Mining Operation of the Year at the New South Wales Minerals Council’s 2020 NSW Mining Industry and Suppliers Awards.
IMC named NSW mine of the year IMC named NSW mine of the year IMC named NSW mine of the year IMC named NSW mine of the year IMC named NSW mine of the year

Illawarra Metallurgical Coal's Dendrobium mine in NSW.

The award recognises achievements across IMC's operations.

South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal vice-president operations Jason Economidis said the company was committed to working with the community and other stakeholders to ensure it remained a sustainable operation.

"We've got a lot to be proud of at IMC, including a team consisting of some of the best in the industry," he said.

IMC, which operates in the Illawarra and Wollondilly regions of the southern coalfields, has two underground metalliferous coal mines, Dendrobium and Appin. 

It employs about 1200 people, 90% of whom live in the local region, as well as providing work for nearly 1000 contractors. 

IMC also spends around $160 million annually with about 400 local suppliers.

The high-quality metalliferous coal produced by IMC is either shipped out of Port Kembla Coal Terminal or provided to Australian steel making customers such as Bluescope Steel.

The focus of IMC at both its southern coalfield mines is long-term sustainability based on more efficient performance and enhanced innovations in safety.

A good example is the challenge of reducing dust exposure while increasing production at the longwall operation at the Dendrobium mine. 

To overcome the challenge IMC implemented and enhanced the leading-edge control and automation operation of the longwall miner, which not only allowed for more accurate mining but moved employees further away from in front of the longwall cutting zone.

This innovation has improved health and safety outcomes and increased production by 18%, with average shear times increasing by 10%.

That has helped increase production from 4.2 million tonnes in 2018 to 6.6Mt in 2019 with an expected 7Mt in 2020.

Safety has improved with reportable injury frequency rates falling from 22 in 2017 to 16.2 in 2019.