SKM awarded study for Vales Ellensfield longwall coal project

first_imgSinclair Knight Merz (SKM), has been awarded a study for both the above ground and underground infrastructure for Vale’s Ellensfield Coal Mine Project (ECMP) in the Moranbah region of Queensland, Australia. ECMP is being developed by Ellensfield Coal Management, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vale Australia Holdings. The ECMP involves the development of a greenfield underground longwall coal mine, producing coking coal and thermal coal for export. The site is in the northern region of the Bowen Basin, some 175 km west of Mackay.This commission follows on from SKM’s work with Vale on coal projects in Queensland and iron ore projects in Brazil, as well as on the Goro Nickel project in New Caledonia, and draws on SKM’s strengths in mine infrastructure and materials handling. More recently, SKM has provided engineering and construction advice to Vale Canada for ongoing base metal projects in Canada.“We believe we can add significant value to Vale’s Ellensfield project, through our leading knowledge and experience in both above ground and underground infrastructure across a number of commodities,” said SKM’s Queensland Mining and Metals Manager, Phil Tighe. “We have been working in coal in Queensland and NSW for the past decade, and have vast experience of surface mine operations. Our focus will be on delivering innovative solutions which have a positive impact on the economic, environmental and social aspects of the Ellensfield mine development.”The relationship with Vale Coal began in 2006 when SKM was invited to deliver studies for other projects associated with Vale in Queensland, involving infrastructure and materials handling. In 2008, SKM was invited by Vale to undertake a Value Improvement Study on expansions to the Carajas iron ore mine in Brazil. This expanded to an Umbrella Agreement to develop conceptual and basic engineering for ferrous mining projects in Brazil. This included contributing to the FEL 2 (prefeasibility) study for Vale’s S11D 90 Mt/y greenfields project in Vale’s northern Carajas System. The scope of work included engineering services for the dry beneficiation plant.A year later, SKM was invited to undertake a FEL 2 study, followed by a FEL 3 study, of a truckless mining system for Vale’s S11D iron ore deposit in Brazil.“We are delighted to be expanding and consolidating our ongoing relationship with Vale – both in coal and iron ore – in Australia and globally,” said SKM’s Vale Client Manager, Richard Dewhirst. .Ausenco’s Minerals business unit undertook the feasibility study to evaluate the development of the ECMP in 2009. The plans then included a 800 t/h coal handling and preparation plant.According to the Queensland Government’s website the proposed ECMP “would use an initial box cut to provide the entrance to an underground mine. Longwall methods would be used to extract the coal from the Leichhardt Seam of the Rangal Coal Measures. A coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) and associated truck load-out facility would be constructed on site with the capacity to process up to 5.5 Mt/y of thermal and coking coal product and reject waste.“Two separate waste areas are proposed to manage overburden, coarse rejects and dewatered fine rejects. Product coal would be transported to port via rail for export. Prior to the proposed CHPP being fully operational in 2012, all raw coal would be crushed, sized and washed using the existing Carborough Downs coal mine CHPP, and coal product transported via rail to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) for export. After 2012, product coal would be either transported to DBCT or to Abbot Point Coal Terminal via the yet to be completed Goonyella Abbot Point rail line. The ECMP would construct an 8 to 20 MW power plant and site electricity network. The mine is expected to operate for approximately 20 years.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *