Thiess has won a $1.015 billion extension for its Mt Owen coal mine contract.
Under a new agreement with Xstrata Coal, it will continue to operate at the mine from October 2011 until the end of 2015, with the option for an additional six months extension.
According to Thiess’ mining chief executive Bruce Munro, this new extension takes the contractor’s association with Mt Owen to two decades in total.
At the site “Thiess will operate a total of seven mining fleets with annual material movements of around 40 million BCM of waste and 8.5 million tonnes ROM coal,” Munro said.
Located 25 km north-west of Singleton, Mt Owen is Thiess’ largest mining operation within New South Wales.
The deposit itself is complex, consisting of multiple seams of coal dipping down at angles between two and 45 degrees while varying in thicknesses between .4m and 9m.
Due to this, it has presented greater operational challenges that in most typical strip mines, requiring the contractor to develop specialised terrace mining and through seam blasting techniques.
Mining at Mt Owen is carried out to depths of 240m.
This operational contract extension follows the recent announcement of a $5.5 billion coal mining contract with Pakri Barwadiah, making Thiess the world’s leading contract coal miner.