South Walker Creek Coal Mine
- Related images
- BHP Mitsui Coal
- Queensland Find on Google Maps
- Project dates
- Mar 2003 - Jun 2013
- Contract type
- Schedule of rates
- $247 million (at 30 June 2012)
- Group Company
- Project details
The South Walker Creek Coal Mine covers a total strike length of 16km and is situated 40km west of Nebo, in the northern part of the Bowen Basin.
The South Walker Creek Project was opened by BHP Mitsui Coal Pty Ltd on a trial basis to produce and test the acceptance of South Walker Coal in the Pulverised Coal Injection (PCI) and thermal coal export marketplace.
The initial development contained an 11 to 12 metre thick single coal seam dipping to the west at eight degrees. Continued development of the mine north and south has seen changes in the seam such as variations in dip, thickness, coal quality, and the introduction of seam splitting and faulting. Approximately 80 million tonnes of open cut marketable reserves are available.
In February 1996, Thiess was awarded a schedule of rates contract to construct site infrastructure, including a 300tph coal processing plant, and to operate a trial mine to extract a bulk sample of 100,000 tonnes.
Project requirements were divided into two stages. Stage one involved civil construction, infrastructure and bulk sampling. Stage two, the mining component, commenced in September 1996 and involved mine design, excavation, raw coal handling, coal processing, product haulage and train loading. In November 2000, BHP awarded Thiess an additional two year contract (following five years as mine operator) for total mine operations including mine planning, excavation, processing and quality control.
In May 2003 the contract was extended through to June 2006 with Thiess responsible for overburden removal (including dragline operation), mining, coal processing and handling, and train loadout. In June 2004, BHP Mitsui Coal awarded Thiess a prestrip contract that adjoins the existing operations and contract period. The project operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Thiess was responsible for the successful extraction of 100,000 tonnes bulk sample, followed by two years of trial operation, which produced 1 million tonnes a year of product coal. The current production rate is 3.5 million tonnes a year over the term of the contract, with overburden removal of 75 million BCM over the term of contract.