CENTRAL Queensland thermal coal producer, Ensham Resources, is bouncing back from recent flooding with the progressive resumption of mine operations.
Ensham Resources CEO John Pegler said Ensham was already approaching about 50% of operational capacity thanks to the leadership of its on-site mine management team and the outstanding efforts of its employees.
All going well, this was expected to exceed 70% in the coming weeks with the mine expected to return to normal operations by year’s end.
Along with Pegler, Queensland Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson recently visited the mine speaking face-to-face with mine workers.
President of Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd of Japan, Ensham’s major shareholder, will visit the Mine this week.
Earlier this month, all of Ensham’s employees returned to work on their normal rosters along with most contractors and some additional personnel.
A number of employees and senior management stayed at the mine during the worst of the flooding to protect equipment and kick off the recovery effort.
Pegler said Ensham would resume shipping coal as soon as possible following the resumption of coalmining and blending which would allow rebuilding of stockpiles as coal was progressively uncovered in the four pits which were back in operation.
“We are very grateful for the efforts of our employees and the entire management team at the Mine Site and Brisbane who have guided the mine through a very difficult time and are now firmly focussed on the future.
“We are also heartened by the spirit of cooperation and support expressed by Minister Wilson and his department this week, and also by the EPA which is working closely with Ensham to facilitate the safe and environmentally sustainable evacuation of river water from the two flooded pits.”
Pegler said the three operational draglines and several truck and shovel fleets had returned to normal overburden removal operations in the four accessible pits.
One new pit was being opened by the massive 7,000 tonne new Bucyrus 8750-63 dragline which was commissioned a year ago.
The two flooded pits will be accessible in a few months time.
Pegler was also confident of the rapid recovery and restoration of the trapped dragline which he hoped would be placed back in operation by the end of the year.