Coal Mine of the Year

MINING DAILY profiles each of the finalists in the 12 categories of the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

MINING DAILY profiles each of the finalists in the 12 categories of the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

The 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards aim to encourage, recognise and reward excellence in the Australian mining industry.

This year saw record amounts of entries in several categories, including Minerals Processing Plant of the Year, Innovative Mining Solutions and Excellence in Mine OH&S.

The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony and dinner at Doltone House, Sydney on Wednesday 11 November 2009.

For tickets and further information please contact Heather Lawson on 02 9422 2791, or email

Anglo Coal Australia – Moranbah North

Anglo Coal Australia’s Moranbah North Mine is a finalist in the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for its efforts to mitigate methane emissions and increase productivity with new technology.

The company launched a joint venture with EDL to build a 45 MW power station next to the mine which will convert the waste coal mine gas into clean electricity.

The $60 million power station will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1.3 million tonnes, the equivalent of taking 330,000 cars off the road.

Anglo Coal launched a similar joint venture with EDL at the German Creek mining complex in late-2006.

The company has also invested in an innovative new powered roof support system to increase the mine’s productivity at increasing depths.

The system, supplied by Joy Mining Machinery, provides improved roof control and employee working conditions in the mine’s remaining longwall reserves.

The 148 hydraulically-powered roof supports are rated to handle 1750 tonnes and are controlled by Landmark Automation technology.

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance — Saraji

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Saraji open-cut coking coal mine, located in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, is a finalist in the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

Over the past four years, the company has aimed to create a workplace with world-class health, safety, environment and community performance, efficient production and focussed cost management.

During the 2008-09 financial year, the mine recorded a 41% improvement in recordable injuries and a 33% improvement in significant incidents and near misses.

The company also implemented several health programs, including Quit Smoking, Gut Busters and 10,000 Steps as well as a series of talks on Cancer.

Despite the downturn of the global economy in the last 12 months, the mine managed to produce record coal results.

This included a monthly production record of 851,000 tonnes, a quarterly record of 2.2 million tonnes and a yearly record of seven million tonnes.

Rio Tinto — Clermont

Rio Tinto’s Clermont mine in Queensland joins the finalists in the 6th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for its commitment to providing job opportunities for women.

The mine has already been recognised this year with the Best Company Initiative Award at the Queensland Resources Council’s Awards for Women, held as part of the International Women’s Day breakfast.

The company embarked on a drive to recruit women and develop them into leadership roles.

As a result, 27.5% of the mine’s workforce is women, compared to an industry average of 11.3%.

Of those, 8% are Indigenous.

The women did not posses any prior mining skills or qualifications and came from a diverse range of backgrounds, including hairdressers, massage therapists, school teachers and detention workers.

The mine’s village has been designed with female occupants in mind, placing the women near each other and providing opportunities to network and socialise.

A high proportion of the female workforce lives in the village.

Rio Tinto — Mt Thorley Warkworth

Rio Tinto’s Mt Thorley Warkworth mine, in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley region, is a finalist in 6th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for its work towards reducing its carbon footprint.

The mine was been working on a $5.5 million trial coal bed methane project, which is designed to capture the greenhouse gases released during mining.

Fugitive methane emissions account for more than 60% of the mine’s total footprint.

Methane is also up to 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Initially, the project will burn off the gas as it is produced, but there is also a long-term goal to use the waste gas as a clean source of electricity.

The company hopes the trial will lead to similar projects at its other mines in the Hunter Valley and around Australia.

The mine has also been investigating the use pre-processed waste oil for explosives and other applications.

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