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Dendrobium is an underground black coal mine in New South Wales that began construction life in January 2002. It is operated by Dendrobium Coal Pty Ltd, a 100 percent subsidiary of BHP Billiton. Longwall mining began at the mine in April 2005 and since that time it has been producing coal seven days a week for 24 hours every day.

Dendrobium Mine is at the Site of the Former Nebro Colliery

The Dendrobium Mine is located near Mount Kembla, eight kilometres west of Wollongong. The pit top of the underground mine is at the site of the former Nebro Colliery, which, in 1993, merged with the Wongawilli Colliery to form the Elouera Colliery.

An Expected Mine Life of Over 20 Years

The Dendrobium Mine began mining coking coal with approvals to produce up to 5.2 million tonnes a year. This gave it an expected mine life of over 20 years. The proven probable reserves stood at 58 million tonnes in 2010 with an inferred and indicated resource of 262 million tonnes. Its main customers being One Steel in Whyalla, South Australia and Bluescope Steel, at Port Kembla, in New South Wales. It also exports coal to its international customers out of the Port Kembla Coal Terminal.

An Important Contributor to 'Illawarra Blend' Coking Coal Continuing

Coal produced at the Dendrobium Mine is well known for its steel making quality as the product comes from Wongawilli Coal Seam, an essential component of the premium 'Illawarra Blend' coking coal and as such:

• Covered conveyors take the raw coal from the Dendrobium mine site to the coal loading facility at Kemira Valley. From here it is taken seven kilometres by rail to the Dendrobium Coal Preparation Plant (DCPP) at Port Kembla. The DCPP can handle 535 tonnes of coal an hour. At the DCPP the coal is either processed or placed into stockpiles to await processing. All energy coal, coking coal and washed coal are separated and placed into product bins for the company's various customers.

• The Dendrobium Coal mine was built to guarantee Illawarra would remain able to continue supplying high grade coking coal blend to the steelworks at Port Kembla and world steel making generally. As a 'modern' mine it has become much of a 'benchmark' operation.

• The community involvement and environmental works undertaken have set standards that have now been taken up within the company's wider operations as well as other large state projects. It is actually the first longwall mine to be developed in the Illawarra district for over 20 years. This has meant cutting edge practices and the best of engineering systems have been able to be incorporated into the development of the mine from the outset. This has placed the Dendrobium Mine at the forefront of the mining industry.

A Modern Mine Operating in Harsh Conditions

It remains however that the Dendrobium Mine has to operate in a rather harsh underground environment but the management systems and early planning that has taken place has resulted in such things as a better, more effective ventilation shaft, the upgrading of the pit top, efficient coal handling facilities, adequate power supply at all times, good longwall production rates and workforce safety. All have now become production realities. In April 2011 the Dendrobium Mine employed 177 contractors and 269 full time employees.

BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton have been in the industry for over 150 years & are among the largest producers of major commodities such as aluminium, copper, coal, iron ore, silver & branching out into oil & gas.They have over 100 locations throughout the world & employ more than 100,000 employees & more


BHP Billiton
171 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000


Phone13 0055 4757
fax03 9609 3015

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