Tag Archives: Peabody Energy

Ausdrill kicks off Middlemount coal contract

Perenti’s Ausdrill says it has officially started a three-year contract at the Yancoal/Peabody-owned Middlemount coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

Two new Caterpillar MD6310 rotary blasthole drills (pictured) are up and running, as of January 1, as part of a full turnkey drill and blast contract for the client, Ausdrill said.

Middlemount produces low volatile pulverised coal injection coal and hard coking coal, with contracted rail and port capacity through Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal and Abbot Point Port, in Queensland.

It is an open-pit mine, 90 km northeast of Emerald in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. Full scale operations commenced in November 2011, with mining activities using conventional truck and shovel techniques.



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.

Peabody Energy invests $10 million in Arq coal-to-oil technology

Peabody Energy and trading firm Vitol have become the latest companies to buy into Arq’s patented coal-to-oil technology.

The deals, which could see both investing further over the next three years, will see Peabody identify potential mine sites where Arq can deploy its technology, while Vitol has agreed to distribute Arq Fuel™ globally.

Arq said: “For almost 100 years, the energy industry has struggled to find a cost-effective way of upgrading coal into oil. Arq Technology™ represents a major breakthrough in this field, achieved by inventing a low-cost mechanical process for treating coal as a micro-particle system.”

The Arq Technology process starts with reclaiming coal waste before moving on to sizing. This creates a micro-particle system through a series of advanced milling techniques to enable the liberation of hydrocarbons from mineral matter.

Arq’s proprietary micro-separation technique isolates the hydrocarbon from the mineral matter through advanced chemistry and flotation technology, removing more than 99% of the impurities. A mechanical de-watering and thermal drying process then creates a purified hydrocarbon product containing less than 2% moisture.

The resulting product, Arq Fuel, is a new energy source ideal for blending directly into oil products without the need for expensive liquefaction and comes with several environmental benefits, the company said.

Arq now has $50 million of equity from investors, meaning it carries a market valuation of over $500 million.

The agreement with Vitol will see the trading company blend Arq Fuel into fuel oil and crude oil, working to position the product as a low-cost blending component with specific customers, according to Arq. These are initially envisaged to include consumers of fuel oil and, subject to ongoing testing, refineries.

Arq’s first plant in Corbin, Kentucky (pictured), is nearing completion, with Arq Fuel expected to be available in early 2019.

Julian McIntyre, Founder and CEO of Arq, said: “Our goal at Arq is to produce the lowest cost hydrocarbon products on the planet. We can only do this by building a coalition of industry partners, who share our perspective that technology will be the catalyst in unlocking value in a changing energy landscape.

“These partnerships are a validation of our products and technology and a major milestone towards realising our ambition.”

Charles Meintjes, Executive Vice President – Corporate Services and Chief Commercial Officer of Peabody, said: “We believe our partnership with Arq represents a rare opportunity to add value to our product, reduce our environmental footprint and expand the market for our product at the same time.”

OptiFlox to be trialled at Peabody’s North Goonyella coal mine

SciDev Ltd has been given six months by Peabody Energy to prove its OptiFlox® system can improve water efficiency, productivity and operating costs at the tailings thickener section of the North Goonyella coking coal mine in Queensland, Australia (pictured).

The six-month trial follows the successful installation and ongoing operation of an OptiFlox system at the coal miner’s 12 million tonne per year Wilpinjong thermal coal mine in New South Wales.

SciDev also sells chemicals to the 2.9 Mt/y North Goonyella mine, with the OptiFlox system expected to enhance the “efficacy of the SciDev chemistry”, the company said.

The OptiFlox range of polymers is specifically tailored for the treatment of process water and wastewater in mining and minerals. In addition to the polymer range, OptiFlox also includes the company’s patent-pending technology, which continuously measures particle characteristics of coal slurry, in order to maintain optimal flocculation conditions through automatic, real time control of coagulant dosing.

The technology aims to recover valuable mineral resources more efficiently, while minimising losses in productivity and revenue caused by inadequate wastewater clarification in tailings thickeners.

In addition to the Peabody business, SciDev said it expects to receive approval during the current quarter for the trial of an OptiFlox system at a heavy mineral sands operation in South Australia.