Australia

Moolarben Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit & Underground
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Coal (thermal)
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Longwall
  • Continuous
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SnapshotThe Moolarben coal mine is a world-class open cut coal asset producing export quality thermal coal.

At Moolarben, Yancoal has the required approvals to increase annual open-cut mine ROM coal production from 14Mtpa to 16Mtpa. Yancoal’s ability to increase open-cut production depends on increasing the capacity at the Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP). This CHPP upgrade project is underway, with the final stage of modifications to increase capacity to 16Mtpa scheduled to be completed during 1Q 2023.

At Moolarben, modifications to increase the coal wash plant production capacity to 16Mtpa were completed earlier in the 2023 year.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Kores Australia Moolarben Coal Pty Ltd. 5 % Indirect
Yancoal Australia, Ltd. 95 % Indirect
Moolarben Coal Operations Pty Ltd. (operator) 100 % Direct
Moolarben Coal Operations Pty Ltd (MCO) is the operator of the Moolarben Coal Complex on behalf of the Joint Venture (JV). The JV partners are Moolarben Coal Mines Pty Ltd (95%), and a consortium of Korean companies represented by Kores Australia Moolarben Coal Pty Ltd (5%).

Moolarben Coal Operations Pty Ltd (MCO), Moolarben Coal Mines Pty Ltd are wholly owned subsidiaries of Yancoal Australia Limited.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Sedimentary

Summary:

The Moolarben deposit is located on the western margin of the Western Coalfield within the Sydney Basin where sedimentary strata of Permian, Triassic and Jurassic age dip towards the northeast at 1° - 3° and overlie Carboniferous granite and folded metamorphic basement. The Permian strata comprise the coal-bearing Illawarra Coal Measures and the underlying Shoalhaven Group, which in turn uncomformably overlies the Lachlan Fold Belt basement rocks. Surface Quaternary alluvial deposits and remnant Tertiary basalt flows are common in the area.

The Illawarra Coal Measures are equivalent to the basal section of the Newcastle Coal Measures and the Wittingham Coal Measures in the Hunter Coalfield. Extrusive basaltic lavas and intrusive igneous activity was common during the Tertiary era (< 65 million years ago). These igneous features are usually not significant for open cut mining but for underground operations the impact of unidentified igneous intrusions can be serious from a safety as well as a cost perspective. RPM is aware the Company and its operators are well aware of this issue and continue to monitor and explore to minimise their impact.

The Illawarra Coal Measures are typically 80 to 100m thick within the Moolarben resource area and comprise a sequence of interbedded siltstone, sandstone, minor claystone with up to eight coal intervals, of which the Ulan Seam is the only seam mined. Regionally, the Wollar Sandstone which is a 120m thick sandstone sequence within the Narrabeen Group, overlies the coal measures forming cliffs and escarpments. The Pilliga Sandstone and Purlawaugh Siltstone, both of Jurassic age, overlie the Narrabeen Group to the north and east of Moolarben, with a combined thickness of up to 120 m. The Pilliga Sandstone is an aquifer of regional significance.

The Ulan Seam includes several partings and on a regional basis is up to 12m thick. A tuffaceous parting (C Marker – CMK) approximately 0.3m thick occurs in the middle of the seam and separates the upper (WS1L) and lower (WS2) open cut working sections. East of Moolarben the CMK interval increases to 15m thick. The Lithgow Seam, which is up to 15m below the Ulan Seam is the basal seam within the Illawarra Coal Measures throughout the Western Coalfield.

The seam depth increases towards the northeast due to regional dip. Overburden thickness north of the railway in the north of EL6288 reaches 300m and in the south of EL6288 severe topographic relief caused by remnant Triassic escarpments, limit the extent of open cut development even though overburden thickness tends to be less than 150 m.

The Ulan Seam is typically 11m thick throughout much of tenure although in the south of EL6288 and within EL7073, deterioration of some upper coal plies in the WS1 results in a decrease in overall seam thickness to less than 6 m.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits202320222021202020192018201720162015
Coal (thermal) t  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe17,851,63116,521,11812,380,4089,348,7876,899,179
All production numbers are expressed as clean coal. ^ Guidance / Forecast.

Operational metrics

Metrics202320222021202020192018201720162015
Coal tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe
Waste  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe47,275,395 bcm51,640,016 bcm48,507,017 bcm42,920,769 bcm27,295,594 bcm
Reject  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe2,662,424 t2,137,235 t2,125,682 t
Coal tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe20,514,055 t of ROM coal18,587,871 t of ROM coal14,715,193 t of ROM coal12,237,570 t of ROM coal9,000,963 t of ROM coal
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe21 Mt of clean coal
Stripping / waste ratio  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe3.7 bcm/t3.6 bcm/t
^ Guidance / Forecast.

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNamePhoneEmailProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Aug 17, 2023
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Total WorkforceYear
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Aerial view:

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