DHML undertook a $12M whole-of-mine contract with Francis Mining for Echo Opencast Coalmine, Reefton, South Island from 1996 to 2003.
This contract incorporated all aspects of opencast coal mining including mine design & planning, overburden stripping, and coal winning and haulage activities.
Quantities mined were 3.4M m3 overburden, 770k m3 inter-burden (partings) and 525k tonnes coal.
A fleet of 50 & 85 tonne capacity dump trucks with 75 & 100 tonne excavators was used for stripping.
Coal winning was predominantly completed with 30 tonne excavators and 35 tonne articulated dump trucks.
Drill, blast and overburden removal was mainly in difficult terrain with complex geology and underground workings. Coal winning was from smaller seams with multiple partings. Coal folded and dipped over short distances making planning and recovery difficult.
As this was a whole-of-mine contract paid on coal tonnage delivered, we were responsible for mine planning to achieve the maximum recovery for the client. This involved exploratory drilling, blasting, water management and staging of works. All activities were completed in-house.
Road access to the mine was shared with Solid Energy’s Island Block Mine which required access around the top of the Echo pit to be maintained at all times.
This and all mining activities were completed to stakeholders’ satisfaction.