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Whitehaven Coal Limited : Annual Report 2013
11 Whitehaven Coal Limited Annual Report 2013 Ownership: • Tarrawonga - Whitehaven Coal 70% and operator, Idemitsu 30% • Rocglen - Whitehaven Coal 100% • Sunnyside - Whitehaven Coal 100% • Gunnedah - CHPP: Whitehaven 100% The Gunnedah operations include the Tarrawonga, Rocglen, and Sunnyside open cut mines and the Gunnedah coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) and train load out facility. ROM coal from each of the open cut mines is road transported on a dedicated haul road to the CHPP located near Gunnedah. Product is then loaded onto trains for railing to the coal terminals in Newcastle. Operations at the Gunnedah open cuts have progressed through a number of changes during the year. In the rst instance a review of the Sunnyside open cut resulted in placing the mine into care and maintenance as the high cost mine was not pro table in the current coal price environment. Mining at Sunnyside was halted late in the rst half of the year and ROM coal stocks were depleted by the end of the year. This decision resulted in several contract positions being made redundant. However, all Whitehaven employees were o ered roles at the other group mines. Production of 0.4Mtpa ROM coal from Sunnyside mine has been made up by increased production from the Werris Creek mine, leaving overall output by the Company unchanged. In response to the current coal market conditions a detailed review of both the Rocglen and Tarrawonga open cuts was carried out in the second half of the year. As a consequence, the mine plans at both open cuts have been amended to reduce the strip ratio, resulting in the number of trucks required for overburden removal reducing by four. Several positions were made redundant. This will result in lower costs for both mines with production maintained at about 3.5Mtpa ROM coal. An application was lodged early in the year with both the New South Wales (NSW) State Government and the Federal Government, seeking approval to increase production from 2.0Mtpa to 3.0Mtpa and extend the mine life from 2017 to 2030 at the Tarrawonga open cut. The project was approved by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) in January which was followed later in the year by Federal Government approval. The project is now approved to mine a total of 50.5Mt of coal in the period up until 2030. The current life of the Tarrawonga mine based on Marketable Reserves of 46.8Mt is about 15 years based on 3.0Mtoa ROM production. As a result of the recent cost cutting review the mine will be operated at a rate of 2.0Mtpa ROM coal for the next two years. Gunnedah Operations
Annual Report 2012