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Whitehaven Coal Limited : Annual Report 2012
16 NARRABRI MINE Whitehaven (operator) 70.0% Electric Power Development Co. Ltd 7.5% EDF Trading 7.5% Upper Horn Investments Limited 7.5% Daewoo International Corporation and Korea Resources Corporation 7.5% The Narrabri mine is now fully operational with all infrastructure in place. Installation of the longwall was completed and the first longwall coal cut in June 2012. Production is steadily increasing in line with the planned commissioning process and has reached a weekly rate equivalent of up to 4.0 Mtpa. To the end of August 2012, in excess of 331 Kt of coal had been produced from the longwall face. Roof caving has occurred as predicted. Mechanical and electrical commissioning of the longwall underground has progressed well. However, several vendor related (Caterpillar) issues remain unresolved with the equipment including full commissioning of the face automation, provision of a reliable supply of spare parts, installation of the high pressure set function of the shields and complete installation of the full longwall belt retraction system. Whitehaven is working with Caterpillar to resolve these issues. Mining conditions underground remain excellent and development productivity is good. Main road development has advanced to longwall panel #3 and installation of the maingate conveyor for longwall panel #2 is completed, and maingate #2 development is well advanced. Narrabri continues to successfully drain in-seam gas (85% CO2) to levels below the threshold required for continuous mining. A program of surface to in-seam (SIS) and underground in-seam (UIS) drilling is continuing and a substantial inventory of drained coal is being established, with the development roadways for longwall panel #5 now being drained. As with the installation of any new longwall into a new seam not previously mined by this method, issues are anticipated during the ramp up phase. The operating team is actively monitoring for and addressing issues through rectification and modification works and developing operating practices. Mine infrastructure at Narrabri is operating well, including the permanent ventilation system and CHPP. The CHPP is currently running at around 850 tph to 900 tph, short of its full capacity of 1,000 tph. It is expected to be fully optimised when large throughput tonnages of longwall coal create steady, high volume operation. Narrabri has also commissioned an upgrade to the original Stage 1 raw coal crushing and stacking system, which is currently unutilised. When upgraded, this will provide an additional 1,000 tph of raw saleable coal crushing and stacking capacity, which will provide redundancy for the CHPP and additional capacity if and when required. Whitehaven is continuing to actively seek and recruit experienced underground miners and professional staff, including international searches, to ensure a full complement of staff. On an equity basis, sales of more than 400 Kt of Narrabri coal have now been made with coal stockpiling and handling systems working well and coal quality meeting expectations. Forecast production is approximately 4 Mt of ROM coal for FY2013. DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS Maules Creek Whitehaven (operator) 75% ICRA MC Pty Ltd (an entity associated with Itochu Corporation) 15% J-Power Australia Pty Ltd 10% The Maules Creek Coal Project resource, located in the Gunnedah Basin, is projected to support a large open cut mining operation for in excess of 30 years at an average ROM coal production rate of approximately 12 Mtpa. NSW Government approval is still pending, despite the recommendation on 21 March 2012 of the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) for the project to proceed subject to appropriate conditions. Whitehaven remains confident of receiving approval and is working to ensure development timelines remain on track once approval is granted. MANAGING DIRECTOR'S REPORT
Annual Report 2011
Annual Report 2013