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The Bengalla coal mine is located about four kilometres west of the Upper Hunter Valley town of Muswellbrook in New South Wales. The mine is owned by Bengalla Mining Company (BMC) that was granted a licence to operate the mine as an open cut mining operation in 1996, until 2017. The mine was acquired by Coal and Allied (Rio Tinto) in 2001. Coal and Allied with 40 percent interest through CNA Bengalla Investments Pty Ltd, operate the mine on behalf of its joint venture partners, Wesfarmers Bengalla Limited (40 percent), Mitsui Bengalla Investments Pty Ltd (10 percent) and Taipower Bengalla Pty Ltd (10 percent). The mine exports around seven million tonnes of thermal coal a year to the international market.

The Bengalla Mine First Upgrade in 2010
The Bengalla mine project began in1990 when the New South Wales government called for expressions of interest from coal mining companies interested in developing the Bengalla coal resource. Development of the site was granted in 1996 with coal production commencing in 1999. In November 2010 it was agreed by Coal and Allied and its joint venture partners to expand coal production at Bengalla from the then 7.8 million tonnes a year capacity to 9.3 million tonnes and to generally upgrade the mine site. The upgrade included the purchse of additional mine equipment, better infrastructure and the construction of a two stage washing and coal handling preparation facility.

Open pit Mining at the Bengalla Mining Complex
The Bengalla open pit mining operation is undertaken using the conventional dragline, truck and shovel method of open cut mining methods. The mine employs around 400 employees who undertake shift work t0 keep the mine operating 24 hours a day throughout the year.

Coal mining at the Bengalla open pit produced over seven million tonnes of high quality thermal coal for the export market to be used for electric power generation, mainly in Asian countries. After the coal is mined it is washed and made ready for loading onto railway wagons to be taken the 115 kilometres to the Port Waratah Coal Terminal at Newcastle for exporting overseas.

The Bengalla Mine Second Upgrade in 2012
At the end of 2012 the Bengalla mine held coal reserves of 128 million tonnes and at the same time applied for development consent to allow the mine to continue for another 21 years beyond the current approval that expires in 2017. The expansion also gives the Bengalla mine the ability to produce up to 15 million tonnes of ROM (run-of-mine) coal a year, whenever that level of production may be required. The mine continuing for more than another 21 years will also be an important employment generator in the area, as it currently employs a workforce of around 400 people with the potential of employing upwards of 500 more workers, if ,or when, production is to be increased to 15 million tonnes a year.

The Bengalla mine upgrade consists of the following:
- The building of a water management infrastructure
- Bengalla link road re-location to facilitate coal extraction near the existing mine access road
- The temporary diversion of Dry Creek through pipe works and dams to enable the later permanent realignment of the creek through the rehabilitated areas once stability is once again established
- An extra Overburden Emplacement Area west of Dry Creek that can be used to take excess spoil while waiting for it to be intercepted by the mining operation
- Extra coal stockpile areas
- The upgrading of the Bengalla coal transportation, handling and processing through the upgraded CHPP and railway loop, to make it easier to take the coal to its export destination and domestic customers.

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a major producer of iron ore, coal, bauxite, alumina, aluminium, uranium, copper, gold, diamonds, salt and energy across the globe. Businesses include open pit and underground mines, refineries, smelters, mills and power stations. Also a number of research facilities and...........read more


Rio Tinto
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Perth, WA 6000



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