Australian coal miner, Centennial Coal, is to place its Angus Place mine into care and maintenance from November, the company has announced, in response to the “prolonged downturn in international coal markets.”
Following the closure of the New South Wales mine, the company has proposed to move workers and equipment to ramp-up its neighbouring Springvale coal mine. This would minimise the numbers of redundancies resulting from the Angus Place closure, as well as boosting production and productivity and reducing costs at Springvale.
The company is currently awaiting approval from its joint-venture partner for the plan.
Should the plan go ahead, the Angus Place longwall and two development crews and equipment would be redeployed to Springvale. The addition of the extra longwall would result in no loss of production during the traditional five-week longwall changeover periods usually experienced every 7 – 8 months at Springvale – effectively, delivering continuous longwall coal production.
It is expected that about 100 of Angus Place’s 268 workers would be redeployed at the Spingvale mine, as well as to Centennial’s Clarence mine.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision, with Centennial and its joint venture partner committed to diligently working through a process that will sensitively support those impacted,” the company said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the decision is essential if the joint venture is to sustain its competitiveness following the reduction in domestic coal demand in the Western Region as a result of the suspension of operations at Wallerawang power station, and lower export prices flowing from the currently over-supplied export thermal coal market.
While on care and maintenance, Angus Place will continue to meet safety and environmental regulations and the site will be appropriately maintained to enable a reopening when the Springvale reserves are exhausted (in 2023) or earlier if market conditions improve.
Written by Jonathan Rowland.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/31102014/world-coal-centennial-puts-angus-place-mine-into-care-and-maintenance-coal1523/