Winners of the 2020 Prospect Awards: Moolarben Coal takes home top honour

Credit: Moolarben Coal Operations

The 2020 Australian Mining Prospect Awards have proceeded despite this year’s challenges, to honour the best and brightest in the industry.

The Moolarben Coal Operations has beaten the finalists of the SEW-Eurodrive Coal Mine of the Year and the Epiroc Hard Rock Mine of the Year categories to nab the National Group Australian Mine of the Year title.

The New South Wales-based thermal coal joint venture between Yancoal (95 per cent) and a consortium of Korean power companies (5 per cent) has delivered rising production since 2015.

It started with an $800 million open cut and underground expansion that led to the production of nearly 18 million tonnes of coal last year – a significant increase from the nearly seven million tonnes produced in 2015.

Moolarben has today become the highest producing, yet lowest cost thermal coal operation in Australia.

The JV embraces automated mining technologies, including an autonomous Caterpillar longwall, continuous miner auto cut cycle and continuous miner real time monitoring.

Below is a complete list of the 2020 Australian Mining Prospect Awards winners, which are announced for the first time on this platform.

Prospect Awards judge and CSIRO Mineral Resources’ principal research engineer Mark Dunn said that the quality of nominations was high, given the disrupted environment of COVID-19.

“The nominees should all be commended on their efforts to improve the safety, sustainability and productivity of the Australian mining industry,” he said.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable, who was also a judge at this year’s Prospect Awards, agrees, stating that the nominations were of a high standard.

“I commend all of the award nominees for showing the courage to put their company or employee forward for these nominations,” she said.

The 2020 Prospect Awards winners are:

Safety Advocate of the Year (sponsored by Flexco)

Terese Withington – Weir Minerals Australia

Indigenous Engagement Award

NRW and IronMerge: Partners for FMG – IronMerge

Excellence in IIoT Application (sponsored by ifm efector)

Dash – Live work, Eliminated – BHP

Contract Miner of the Year (sponsored by Epiroc)


Contribution to Mining

Teagan Dowler ­– STS Consulting Australia

Hard Rock Mine of the Year (sponsored by Epiroc)

Koolyanobbing iron ore mine – Mineral Resources

Coal Mine of the Year (sponsored by SEW-Eurodrive)

Moolarben Coal Operations – Yancoal Moolarben Coal Operations

Excellence in Environmental Management (sponsored by Metso-Outotec)

Mangoola coal mine rehabilitation – Glencore’s Mangoola coal operations

Excellence in Mine Safety, OHS (sponsored by Schenck Process)

The Long Hole Plug project advantages – ME SAFE

Mine Manager of the Year (sponsored by CRC)

Steve Chandler – Yancoal Moolarben Coal Operations

Minerals Processing of the Year (sponsored by CDE Global)

Roy Hill – WHIMS plant – Roy Hill

Innovative Mining Solution (sponsored by Austmine)

Hovermap – Emesent

Lifetime Achievement (sponsored by Liebherr)

Norman Moore – Gold Industry Group

Australian Mine of the Year (National Group)

Moolarben Coal Operations – Yancoal Moolarben Coal Operations

Read more about the 2020 Prospect Awards finalists and winners here.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.