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About: The Tasman coal mine located in the Lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales, only 20 kilometres from Newcastle, commenced production in 2006. Secondary extraction of the Fassifern coal seam at the site began in 2008.

Bord and Pillar Mining Methods Employed at the Tasman Underground Mine The Tasman underground mine, which is mined in the traditional bord and pillar manner, covers an area of 952 hectares. The coal is extracted by means of continuous miner bolters and shuttle cars for the first working and breaker line supports for the secondary extraction. The two stage process of coal extraction was found necessary to account for the different shapes of the coal deposits as it allows for easier adjustment to be carried out when necessary.

Mining Technique Adapted to Variable Caving Conditions
Variable caving at the mine caused a change in mining methods after the first three full and partial extraction panels were completed. The adoption of the partial method of coal extraction requires the stripping of the square pillars on four sides during retreat and leaving a load bearing remnant pillar to carry the roof load. Partial extraction in this manner has proven to be successful from both a productivity and safety viewpoint.

Duncan Method Proves Successful at the Tasman Mine
The Tasman underground coal mine workforce is experienced in pillar extraction but the Duncan method that was introduced by the company was new to them and their supervisors. Crew training was introduced with particular emphasis being placed on the necessity to adhere to strict supervision in following the design. As a result the workers gained greater confidence in handling subsidence outcomes because of the improved safety and productivity involved.

The Duncan partial pillar extraction method has now worked successfully in two underground mines that have similar geographical make ups. Both mines have had a roof capable of handling large spans. The Tasman mine roof consists of sandstone and thick conglomerate that tends to cave routinely and it is in these types of geological conditions where the Duncan method is found to have merit.

Coal Seam Deep Below the Sugerloaf Range

The coal seam that is being mined at the Tasman mine is taking place beneath the Sugerloaf Range in the NSW State Conservation Area. It is known as the Fassifern Seam. The Sugerloaf Range is made up of steep cliffs and the Fassifern coal seam breaks the surface on three occasions within the Tasman mining lease area. The coal seam thickness averages between 2.2 and 2.5 metres, the floor of which consists of four metres of clay and coal mixed.

Much of the Tasman mine development has taken place beneath the centre of the range at depths of around 250 metres with production panels reaching out towards the outcrops with depth cover of around 40 metres.

Tasman Mine Another Yanzhou Aquisition
The Tasman underground coal mine is owned and operated by Donaldson Coal who in turn is owned by Yancoal Australia. Yancoal is fully owned by the Yanzhou Coal Mining Company of China. Yancoal was incorporated in Australia in 2004. The parent company Yanzhou is a publicaly listed company on the New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges. Yancoal was formed by Yanzhou with the purpose of acquiring and developing coal assets in Australia and to then introduce underground mining methods developed by Yanzhou that give improved production and safety results.


Fomed in 2004, taking over Felix Resources in 2009 and completed an $8 billion merger with Gloucester Coal and was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2012.Operating in NSW, Qld and WA with surface and underground coal operations.Yancoal also manages on behalf of its major more


68 York Street
Sydney, NSW 2000


Phone02 8243 5300

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