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About: Solid Energy's New Vale open cut coal mine is located south east of Gore in New Zealand's Eastern Southland, on the Waimumu lignite coal field. It produces around 250,000 tonnes of coal a year that supplies fuel to Fronterra's dairy factory at Edendale, the Alliance Meat Processing Group for its meat works at Mataura, Makarewa and Lorneville, timber companies, a hospital, lime drying facility and Nortons field drainage tile factory at Pukerau, the New Vale mine's longest running industrial customer.

New Vale Mine has Two Working Pits
The New Vale mine exists of two working open cut pits that are about a kilometres apart with both working the same lignite coal seam. Both mining itself and the coal handling and processing plant at the New Vale mine are worked on 5.5 days a week with a staff of about 42 people. The mine also provides its own transport needs that delivers the coal from the mine workings to its customers in Otago and Southland.

New Vale Mine Acquired by Solid Energy From the Highstead Family
The New Vale coal mine was acquired by Solid Energy New Zealand Limited from the Highstead family in 2006. It has been operational since the 1940's when it was first developed by Dick Bryant who named it after another mine near Newcastle in Australia. Mr Bryant's decendants in the Highstead family have remained associated with the New Vale mine throughout the years until it was purchased by Solid Energy.
New Vale Mine That Started With Pick and Shovel Now Uses Hydraulic Diggers
When the New Vale mine was first established, all the overburden above the coal seam had to be removed with pick and shovel before it could be wheeled away in wheelbarrows. All necessary blasting was carried out in the evenings. Early morning workers arriving at the site the next day were given the job of breaking up the coal lumps to enable them to be hand loaded onto trucks. As technology developed the shovels and wheelbarrows were eventually replaced by line scoops, then came a steam shovel, this was replaced with bulldozers and motor-scrapers. Coal is extracted from the New Vale mine today with hydraulic diggers that have the dual job of removing the overburden as well as extract the coal.

New Vale Coal Sold Directly to its Customers
Coal from the New Vale mine is taken to the company's customers the same day it is mined with any surplus stored undercover and used to supply customers at weekends, or on the occasion when the mine is not working. Coal taken from the mine face is transported in five 12 tonne trucks , all working at the same time, to the crushing, screening and batching plant. During the winter months the coal is put through a lump crusher that produces coal for household use. This coal is sold to the public from a separate yard.

Lignite coal, like that mined at the New Vale open cut coal mine, is a young coal that is both soft and friable, not like harder coals. Lignite coal has a high moisture and low carbon content that gives it a lower energy than that of the harder coals. Lignite coal makes up around 70 percent of New Zealand's total coal reserves.

Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd

From mines in Waikato, the West Coast of the South Island and Southland, Solid Energy export coal around the world and supply industrial users throughout New Zealand.The company’s coal production is around 4 million tonnes annually, which is evenly split between metallurgical coals for export more


Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd
15 Show Place Addington
Christchurch, NZ 8024

PO Box 1303
Christchurch, NZ 8013



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