Bounty Mining has finished evaluating the impact of rock falls that stopped production at its Cook Colliery coal mine during October.
The company has confirmed there was a 23,000-tonne run-of-mine (ROM) loss of production in October as a direct result of the falls, but no workers were injured and there was only minor damage to equipment.
Bounty estimates there will be an additional indirect loss of 150,000 tonnes ROM in the 2020 financial year and approximately 135,000 tonnes of reserves will be lost as a result of necessary changes to operations.
To offset these losses, Bounty has ceased operation of one mining panel due to loss of reserves and consequently, 21 workers have been laid off.
All Cook Colliery operation changes were reviewed independently by a geotechnical expert with knowledge of the circumstances that led to the rock falls.
Other changes post rock fall include expediting the application of the place change mining method to increase productivity, seeking additional funds to cover the operating losses and evaluating alternative ways to implement the panel three place change.
Bounty said the changes reflected the company’s objective to always put safety first and to avoid any future circumstances that could initiate similar incidents.
The company started mining place change panel one this month and looking ahead, expects to commence mining place change panel two in January 2020.
Bounty expects Cook Colliery’s productivity from place change panel one to increase as miners gain experience with this method and expects target productivity in three months’ time.
“Commencement of place change mining in panel one is an important milestone for our company as we execute our mine plan to achieve a major step change in productivity,” Bounty chief executive officer Jim Griffin said.
“This step change in productivity is critical to the financial future of the company; the entire team at Cook is focussed on successful transition to place change mining.”