Tag Archives: coking coal

Macmahon extends stay at expanding Byerwen coking coal mine

Macmahon Holdings is to help increase production at the Byerwen mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin after securing an expansion and three-year extension of its work at the coking coal operation.

Macmahon has been providing open-pit mining services at Byerwen since the establishment of the mine in November 2017 and employs more than 430 people on site. The mine is owned by Byerwen Coal Pty Ltd, a joint venture between QCoal Group and Japanese steel manufacturer, JFE Steel.

The new contract significantly expands production to 10 Mt/y of hard coking coal, and applies from June 1, 2020, until November 1, 2023. The expected revenue over the contract period will be A$700 million ($483 million), with full capacity expected from July 2020, Macmahon said.

There is also an option to extend the contract for a further two years after this period. If this option is exercised, revenue from the contract could exceed A$1 billion, according to the company.

The expansion will involve capital expenditure by Macmahon of A$16 million on ancillary equipment. The contractor has also procured two additional 800 t hydraulic excavators for the project worth A$37 million, it said.

Macmahon CEO and MD, Michael Finnegan, said: “We are very pleased to have secured this expansion and extension at Byerwen, which is one of our cornerstone projects in Australia. Byerwen Coal is an excellent partner and the project has been very successful since its inception. We look forward to continuing to work with our client on the development of this premium asset.”

QCoal Group Managing Director, Christopher Wallin, said the production increase at Byerwen was testament to the favourable economics of the project and the work of the QCoal staff and contract partners involved in developing the mine over several years.

“The development of the Byerwen project is a great success story for the industry, with the mine now emerging as a very low-cost producer of hard coking coal,” he said. “I am very proud that this expansion will enable us to further contribute to the Queensland economy with additional local employment and opportunities for regional communities.”

Pembroke’s 15 Mt/y Olive Downs coking coal project moves closer to construction

Start-up of Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs coking coal project in Queensland, Australia, has edged closer after the company confirmed it had received project approvals from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

The EPBC approvals, together with the grant of the Environmental Authority (EA) by the Queensland Government in 2019, provide a clear pathway to grant of the mining leases and the commencement of construction and creation of over 1,000 new jobs in the region, Pembroke said.

Included in the environmental conditions accepted by Pembroke is a A$1 million ($653,655) contribution to improving long-term conservation of koalas and greater gliders in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, according to Sussan Ley, Australia’s Minister for the Environment.

“The federal and state approvals endorse the company’s intent to deliver strong environmental outcomes,” it said. “The project pathway has also benefited from being a Tier One steelmaking coal project in an established mining basin with access to established infrastructure.”

The federal environmental approvals authorise activities for Olive Downs’ 79-year mine life and provide the conditions for the operation of the mine and the associated infrastructure corridors, including environmental obligations.

Olive Downs has 838 Mt of open-pit JORC resources and 514 Mt of JORC reserves of a globally recognised product like other well-accepted Bowen Basin brands, it said. Pembroke plans to commence site construction following the grant of the mining leases and is forecasting up to 15 Mt/y of saleable coal production over its 79-year mine life.

Back in 2019, CIMIC Group’s Sedgman and CPB Contractors were awarded a contract by Pembroke to design, procure, construct and commission the coal handling and preparation plant at Olive Downs.

Pembroke Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Barry Tudor (pictured), said: “This is an exciting time for the company and the region’s wider community. The EPBC approvals, and the EA, which was granted last year, represent key milestones for the project.

“The next key milestone is securing the grant of the mining leases, which will enable us to commence construction. We anticipate these to be granted in the coming months and look forward to construction and employment commencing shortly after this.”

In addition to employment and its contribution to the local economy, the steelmaking coal project is also expected to generate around A$5.5 billion ($3.6 billion) in royalties for the Queensland Government over the life of the mine.

Conuma Coal chooses Komatsu 830E-5 electric drive haul trucks for Wolverine

Conuma Coal Resources has replaced a fleet of haul trucks at its Wolverine metallurgical coal mine, in British Columbia, Canada, with five new Komatsu electric 830E-5 models supplied by dealer SMS Equipment.

Conuma said it carried out “comprehensive engineering and financial analysis” on this move and determined the deployment of the new trucks would “meaningfully increase production” at the mine, largely due to their improved overall availability. Contributing factors included easier maintenance and higher durability, while the 830E-5’s are also quieter and more fuel-efficient than the existing haul trucks, according to the company.

John Schadan, Conuma’s President, said: “Conuma is confident that we have chosen the right partners for results with Komatsu equipment and SMS Equipment’s parts, service and support. Their proven results and experience speak to the quality of their products and service.”

The first 227 t-payload 830E-5 was released to the mine, which produces more than 1.5 Mt/y of hard coking coal, at the end of August, and the remainder of the fleet will be delivered over the next two months. The new trucks complement existing equipment that SMS Equipment supports on Conuma’s mine sites, the companies said.

Dennis Chmielewski, EVP of Mining at SMS Equipment, said: “SMS Equipment is committed to working with Conuma through the long term to ensure full support, resulting in maximised uptime and availability of their Komatsu fleet.”

The Komatsu 830E-5 electric truck is a leader in the 250-ton (227 t) class market with proven durability and reliability, according to the mining OEM. Powered by a 2,500 hp (1,864 kW) Komatsu SDA16V160 engine, the drive system provides efficient transfer of power to the ground while realising low fuel consumption and excellent reliability, it added.

Cokal and China Rail set out five-year plan at BBM coal project

Cokal says it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China Railway 21st Bureau Group International Engineering Co (China Rail), to construct the infrastructure planned for mining at Cokal’s BBM metallurgical coal project in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

China Rail, a subsidiary of China Rail Construction Corporation (CRCC), has sent a team to the BBM site to carry out a site survey to finalise estimations for the costing of infrastructure construction to enable the parties to conclude a formal contract.

The MOU envisages China Rail carrying out road construction, jetty construction, and overburden stripping and coal mining at the BBM project, the ASX-listed company said.

The Bumi Barito Mineral project (BBM) is a PMA company with an ownership structure of 60% Cokal and 40% Indonesian owners. BBM has defined a total resource of 264 Mt comprised of 10.5 Mt measured, 13.5 Mt indicated and 240 Mt inferred Resources in accordance with the JORC Code 2012.

Road construction at BBM as envisaged in the MOU will be in two areas: 12 km of haul roads from the mine pits to the Krajan jetty to transport coal from both pulverised coal injection and coking coal pits to the Krajan jetty; and upgrading of an existing 55 km logging road to connect to 45 km road already in use leading to a jetty located at Lahung Tuhup, 160 km downstream of the Krajan jetty, bypassing the shallowest parts of the river.

In terms of jetty construction, two barge-loading jetties will be built. The first will be constructed at Krajan adjacent to BBM, and the second at the end of the 100 km haul road at Lahung Tuhup.

The construction of each jetty will incorporate a design to accommodate shallow draft barges, allowance for water depths in excess of 10 m during the wet season, a 1000 t/h barge loading conveyor, and coal handling and storage facilities.

China Railway will also assist in funding the capital investment related to overburden removal, coal mining and associated mine infrastructure including the provision of pit haul roads, sedimentation ponds, camp site facilities, clinic, workshops, fuel storage and mess room, Cokal said.

The MOU specifies a contractual period of five years with an option to extend for an additional five years based on mutual agreement between the parties.

In the meantime, Cokal has signed a barging term sheet with HSM Marine, a Singapore-based barging company with operations in Indonesia, the rest of South East Asia and the Middle East, to barge the coal from BBM.

Cokal’s new strategy to use contractor funding to commence construction, mining and barging has necessitated modifications to its five-year plan, it said. Commencement of the BBM mine construction will begin with China Rail initially constructing a 5 km haul road from Pit 2 (PCI coal production) to the Krajan jetty. At the same time, China Rail will construct a temporary barge loader suitable for initial production.

JSW continues growth strategy with launch of Bzie-Dębina coal mine

Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa (JSW) has launched its newest underground coal mine, Bzie-Dębina, located in Jastrzębie-Zdró, Poland.

The new mine consists of the renamed John Paul shaft (previously 1-Bzie) and new buildings, including the winding engine and the temporary administrative building. Subsequent buildings will be built over the upcoming year, JSW said, adding that there were also plans to sink another shaft, a ventilation shaft, in the nearby community of Zebrzydowice. The company intends to invest PLN3 billion ($748 million) in its newest mine by 2033.

“Twelve years ago, this site consisted of just mud, a meadow and barren land. My colleagues from the management board and I visited this spot in January 2007 and we said: ‘There will be a mine here.’ And that is exactly what has happened,” Włodzimierz Hereźniak, President of the Management Board of JSW, said this week at the mine’s opening ceremony, adding that the company planned to spend roughly PLN922 million in capex on this mine in 2019-2022.

Poland Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who participated in this week’s ceremony (pictured, speaking), said no modern economy can exist without steel, and, with that, coking coal. “This highly modern mine will be needed in Poland and across Europe,” he said. “It should be pointed out that coking coal is recognised by the European Union as a strategic raw material. That is why we should be glad that we are expanding its capacity.”

The new mine’s recoverable coal reserves are estimated to be approximately 180 Mt. Some 95% of these reserves comprise hard coking coal located in two deposits: Bzie-Dębina 1-Zachód (71.4 Mt, concession valid until the end of 2051) and Bzie-Dębina 2-Zachód (106.4 Mt, concession valid until the end of 2042).

Extraction from the first longwall may commence in 2022, according to JSW, with Seam 404/1 being the first operational seam. Ultimately JSW intends to establish four operational longwalls prior to 2030, with the extracted material transported to the modernised coal preparation plant in the Zofiówka Section of its operations.

At full tilt, the mine is expected to extract around 2 Mt/y of coking coal, with a life of mine estimated to be at least 30 years. JSW said: “In this way, it is perfectly aligned to JSW’s growth strategy, which calls for growing its run rate, chiefly of coking coal, to 18 Mt/y in 2030.

Bzie-Dębina, at present, has more than 230 employees, with the majority of miners having been transferred from other mines within the group. They are mostly working at the preparatory works unit and the electrical and machinery units, with work primarily consisting of tunnelling work to setup mine faces. By the end of this year the mine will have 300 employees, but some 2,000 people will eventually be employed at the mine.

The decision to spin off a new mine from the integrated Borynia-Zofiówka-Jastrzębie operation was made by the JSW Management Board at the beginning of this year. Until now, the newest Polish hard coal mine had been the Budryk coal mine in Ornontowice, which began to extract coal in March 1994.

Multotec’s SX10 low density spiral opens up coal separation options

Multotec Gravity Division says its new SX10 low density spiral further extends the benefits this innovation offers in fine coal beneficiation, with the technology able to produce both thermal and coking coal on one spiral.

The Multotec SX10 low density spiral’s reduced cut point of 1.55 g/cm3 delivers considerable advantages over the cut points of between 1.6 and 1.8 g/cm3 typically achieved in the coal industry today, according to Multotec Technology Manager, Faan Bornman.

The result, he says, is cleaner coal with less waste being achieved in a single stage. This helps achieve savings on capital costs as no further spiral stages are required for cleaning down the line.

“The approach taken with the Multotec SX10 spiral is to remove the gangue, or mineral containing particles, from the trough in two off-takes,” Multotec said.

The first off-take removes ash, opening up the available separation surface of the spiral and allowing the remaining material to separate more easily. This separates clean coal from less-clean coal.

“The low density spiral is essentially a primary and secondary stage on one centre column,” Bornman said. “Rejects are discarded into the centre column and the remaining product is re-pulped before being sent to a secondary off-take.”

Facilitating the two off-takes is a longer spiral on the Multotec SX10. This increases the residence time and gives the particles sufficient time to separate, according to the company.

Depending on the setting of the product box splitters, this new spiral has the ability to produce both thermal coal and coking coal on one spiral, Multotec claimed. Bornman said this was proven through test work done in the US where the two offtakes enable the removal of most of the gangue leaving a middlings and cleaner coal products to be collected at the dart splitters.

Experimental work was carried out using coal from two South Africa collieries as well as doing site test work in the US. Promising results were obtained leading to the first order for Multotec SX10 spirals from a North America-based mine, it said.

American Resources gears up for Carnegie 1 coal expansion with second continuous miner

American Resources Corp says it is set to pick up its second Joy (Komatsu) 14CM10AA continuous miner for use at its Carnegie 1 coking coal mine in Kentucky, US.

Once on site, the company will install proximity detection safety technology on the equipment – expected over the next two weeks. It hopes to commence production with the continuous miner in early April, it said.

The Carnegie 1 mine is the first in a series of underground metallurgical coal mines American Resources is bringing into production within a large contiguous boundary of High Vol A/B metallurgical coal in the Lower Alma coal seam.

As detailed in the company’s previously announced expansion plan at Carnegie 1, American Resources expects to restart production with two Joy 14CM10AA continuous miners.

Previously, American Resources operated one continuous miner at Carnegie 1, but due to high demand for the metallurgical coal produced by this mine, the company recently announced an expansion plan to increase the coal production at the mine. The acquisition of the second continuous miner is the last piece of equipment needed to achieve this expanded production, it said.

The two continuous miners will initially be operated as a ‘walking’ super section during two production shifts. The initial production range of this first phase of expanded production is expected to be 14,000-20,000 tons/mth (12,701-18,144 t/mth), an increase from less than 7,000 tons/mth historically from this mine using just one continuous miner during one production shift.

American Resources said: “The company expects to complete this first phase of development by the second week of April. Upon completion, American Resources has previously detailed plans to even further expand the coal production at Carnegie 1 to eventually bring total output to approximately 32,000-42,000 tons/mth.”

The coal produced from this mine is sold on current metallurgical contracts that range from $97-102/ton FOB railcar.

As in the past, all production at the Carnegie mine will be trucked to the company’s McCoy Elkhorn Coal facility (pictured) to be processed and loaded onto rail. Additionally, the enhanced production will give American Resources the ability to blend the coal from its Carnegie mine with other metallurgical production at McCoy Elkhorn to offer its customers a high-vol metallurgical coal product, the company said. As a result of the increased tonnage, the fixed operating costs at the McCoy process and load out complex will further be reduced on a per ton basis, providing further margin expansion, according to the company.

Peabody starts up new longwall at North Goonyella coal mine

Peabody Energy’s newest longwall at the North Goonyella mine in Queensland, Australia, has started up and will soon benefit from automated steering and the requirement for less maintenance, according to Peabody’s Australia President George Schuller.

The North Goonyella South project will extend the mine’s life to at least 2026, mining around 71 million short tons of high quality coking coal. The longwall installation is expected to be completed this quarter.

To support the mine’s extension, Peabody has invested in a new longwall system from Caterpillar that includes roof supports and a face conveyor for a 300-m face, shearer and beam stage loader.

The system features automated shearer steering and face alignment, reduced exposure of operators to dust, and less maintenance, according to Cat. Full delivery of the system is expected in the June quarter of next year.

Schuller said: “Not only does that (automation) improve safety for our operators, it enables faster haulage speeds of our high-quality reserves.”

The Cat EL3000 shearer for North Goonyella will be equipped with the proven Cat PMC™ Evo-S control system, intelligent software modules and advanced measuring technology. The automation package enables the shearer to be operated by a single operator using remote control. This package includes automation logic to minimise overload situations and diagnostic tools to maximise uptime.

Cat’s current longwall at North Goonyella was instrumental in achieving record production from the mine in 2017.