Production Facilities

MINING

Work is due to commence on 1st July 2017 with a view to re-commissioning the mine.

The intention is to establish up to a 100m short wall as the primary method of extraction.

Access to the mine is by way of two drifts from the surface each one some 1,200m in length at a gradient of 1:4. Natural ventilation pressure is currently expelling air via the materials drift and this would be accelerated by use of the four tube ventilation station in the future according to volume requirements.

The introduction of fully mechanized retreat short wall mining operation with complete goaf collapse, has proven internationally to be highly successful and productive.

Retreat short/long wall mining has been used successfully in many mines in the South Wales coalfield including the mine itself and more recently at the neighbouring Tower Colliery, which only closed on exhaustion of its reserves.

Short wall panels have been laid out with initially a 60m faceline. The short walls are to be fully mechanized and equipped with bespoke single/double drum shearer to maximise granulation of product. We have developed the mining plan around double entry gateroads. This will improve the working conditions underground and the volume of air around the short wall panels

MINING EQUIPMENT

Due to the relatively high inherent methane content of the coal seams at the mine we intend to implement methane drainage of the goaf area and adjacent seams concurrent with face production. This is a well-proven technique in the UK and South Wales specifically and controls the volume of gas emissions from the worked out areas and overlying/ underlying seams. This in turn will reduce the methane levels within the mine reducing the need for ventailation from the surface. The methane levels experienced within the main body of the mine are relatively low despite the methane content of the coal seams.

It is intended that both short term and long term roadways will be developed by DOSCO LH1400 or equivilent roadheading machines, two of which being fitted with roof/rib bolters for the face/gateroad only drivages, as appropriate.

All the mining equipment intended for deployment at the mine is proven in the anticipated operating and geological conditions.

The mine plan ultimately envisages two sets of short wall equipment, so that a replacement short wall face is always ready to start production and, as a consequence, there should be no gaps in production operations. Four sets of development roadheaders are planned for development operations.

The proposed coal handling system will utilise belt conveyor systems for delivering run of mine (ROM) product from the planned underground short wall and development activities to the surface.

The current capacity of the mine infrastructure including coal clearance, ventilation and electric supply is quite sufficient to support commencement of operations and production with phased upgrades to follow after year two. Transitional backup infrastructure to development headings are allowed for in the business model.

A fleet of four diesel free steering vehicles will transport materials supply from the inbye location (bottom of supplies drift) to the development and production areas of the mine.

 

GRADING AND WASHING PLANTS

The operational history of the current access site was based on a dry screening and blending operation, bringing in coals from various mines and opencast operations in the general area. A new wash plant was installed in 2011 with a capacity of 450 tph.

The plant is capable of producing coal products with ash and moisture levels suitable for the main target markets.