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The Giles Creek open cut coal mine is located on the West Coast of New Zealands South Island near the town of Reefton. It is owned and operated by Birchfield Coal Mines Limited, a private family owned enterprise. The Giles Creek mine has been operating since 1984 and has infrastructure capable of processing 500,000 tonnes of coal a year.

Giles Creek Coal is one of New Zealand's Cleanest Burning Coals
The Giles Creek mine extracts coal from the Inangahua coal field in the Rotokohu coal measures located in the Giles Creek basin. The coal has a low sulphur content and is sub-bituminous. As a result, it is very clean burning and readily retains heat, features that make it an ideal fuel for domestic burners and industrial boilers. It is one of the cleanest burning coals that are mined anywhere in New Zealand, so much so that little or no chimney cleaning is required. Giles Creek coal burns to a fine ash that is able to retain heat for several days and therefore has to be disposed of carefully. Giles Creek coal, because of its own unique heat retaining features, is an ideal product to blend with faster burning coals. In this way a higher heat value is captured ensuring an economical and thorough combustion. For these reasons Giles Creek coal is widely and successfully used by South Island primary production and service industries.

Giles Creek Coal bed is Close to the Surface
The coal deposit at the Giles Creek open cut mine is located close to the surface and easily exposed with the removal of the existing top soil. The coal is then taken from the coal bed with the use of hydraulic diggers and loaded onto dump trucks. These trucks take it to a screening facility where it is sized and washed in readiness to be taken from the site by either rail or road transport. Once all the coal has been taken from an area within the open pit, the area is levelled and planted with native seeds as part of the rehabilitation process of returning it to a living forest once again. Restoration methods used at the Giles Creek mine is carried out in partnership with Land Care New Zealand and has set benchmarks for the mining industry on the West Coast of New Zealand.

Giles Creek has Coal Reserves of Around 16 Million Tonnes
The Giles Creek coal mine has estimated reserves totalling 16 million tonnes of recoverable coal within the mine's current permitted area that covers 235 hectares. An amount that allows Birchfield Coal Mines Limited to ensure its customers with security of supply for their investments in the development of energy units which require a sub-bituminous coal product.

Giles Creek Mine Founded in 1984
Birchfield Coal Mines Limited was created by a husband and wife team, Max and Betty Birchfield in the 1970's. It grew out of their logging business in the 1950's that developed into an earthmoving company. Their first involvement with coal mining occurred at Spring Creek which they left in 1984. The Giles Creek mine began when the company was logging at Giles Creek near Reefton for New Zealand Forestry when they dug up pieces of coal. A licence to mine was obtained and the open cut mine was established the same year they left Spring Creek.

Giles Creek Coal Used by the New Zealand Dairy Industry
The Giles Creek mine, that has been in operation for over 30 years, began by producing around 14,000 tonnes a year and is now producing 150,000 tonnes annually. The growth in production has grown with the growth in the New Zealand dairy industry. New Zealand dairies use the coal to boil water from milk to produce milk powder that they sell on the world market.

Birchfield Coal Mines ltd

Birchfield Coal Mines Limited is a privately owned coal mining company located in New Zealand. The company has many coal mining projects situated on the West Coast with one of their major projects being Giles Creek which began in the 1980's.The company supplies industrial coal to meat, dairy more


Birchfield Coal Mines ltd
436 State Highway 7
Kaiata, NZ 7840



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