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Southland Coal Production Update

05 March 2003

Coal production resumed on 10 February 2003 and the build-up to full production has been achieved.

Coal production resumed on 10 February 2003 and the build-up to full production has been achieved. In the first week since then, run-of-mine production was 11,000 tonnes as the 220-metre wide longwall was aligned properly at the seam floor; in the second week production was 29,000 tonnes as mechanical equipment was brought back on line for the production cycle; and in the third week it was 50,000 tonnes as production began to settle down.

This results from implementing operational measures that included the following:

  • Successfully mining through the zone of poor ground conditions which was caused by in-seam shearing destabilising the upper half of the coal seam. Detailed geological mapping indicates that geological conditions are much-improved throughout the mine zones in which some 3 million tonnes of coal has already been developed ready for extraction including 1.4 million tonnes of coal remaining in current longwall panel SL3;
  • Conversion of longwall operations from a 5-day roster to a continuous 7-day roster increased the annual production capacity of the operation, by approximately 20%;
  • Implementation of additional maintenance systems and procedures that are improving the operational reliability of the longwall unit; and
  • Introduction of quicker recovery strata fill techniques.
  • Throughout these operational challenges the Southland/Theiss alliance preserved its excellent safety record with the colliery being free of lost time injury incidents for over a year.

    In respect of coal marketing product demand remains strong and Southland has just secured an additional sales contract for high fluidity, low ash coking coal.

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    Last Modified: Wednesday, 05-Mar-2003 10:28:51 EST