Centennial Coal has officially opened the Airly mine.
The 80 million tonne thermal coal mine is located near Capertee village, North West of Lithgow, in New South Wales’ Western Coalfields.
The underground mine has a projected mine life of 20 years and is expected to produce up to 1.8 million tonnes per annum using continuous miners.
Currently, the Airly coal mine has 61 employees and is recruiting more to bring existing levels to 70.
When fully operational the mine will employ 130 people.
Initial production commenced in December 2009, with the first shipment of thermal coal transported to Port Kembla in April 2010.
Speaking at the opening, Centennial managing director and CEO Bob Cameron outlined the design and construction of the mine, which demonstrated “a commitment to safety, the environment and innovation.
“The commitment to safety was evidenced by there being no lost time injuries over the 260 000 man-hours of labour used to construct the surface infrastructure,” Cameron said.
He went on to say that Centennial has “made a significant investment in building this mine and are firmly committed to a long term future in the valley.”
The coal miner has also begun further work in the central west, creating a consultation group to liaise between it and the local community for its Inglenook coal project.
Bob Cameron also recently announced he would be stepping down as the head of Centennial Coal at the end of June this year.