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The Terrace coal mine is located at Reefton in New Zealand's South Island. It is a small underground mine working the number four coal seam that consists of a high energy sub-bituminous coal which is highly valued in the New Zealand domestic market.

The Terrace Coal Mine is Over 100 Years old
The Terrace mine has been worked for more than 100 years. It uses a
Japanese hydro mining technique to extract coal from the coal seam. Hydro mining uses high pressure monitor canons capable of delivering either high or low pressure to remove the coal. The coal is then taken from the coal face panels by flume to an underground pumping facility where it is crushed and sized before it is pumped to the surface for processing.

Crusader Coal Limited is the new Owner of the Terrace Coal Mine
The Terrace underground coal mine is wholly owned by a small independent coal mining company, Crusader Coal Limited, that was formed in 2010 by four Australian career miners and two New Zealanders, for the specific purpose of re-opening the Terrace mine. The new company, based in New Zealand, successfully purchased the mine from New Zealand government owned coal mining company, Solid Energy, in December, 2011. All produce from the mine is to be purchased by Solid Energy. The company then went about employing 10 local workers to assist in operating the new venture.

Terrace Mine has an Expected Life of 15 Years
Initial start-up work comprised the refurbishing of surface infrastructure before underground development got underway in November, 2013. Small amount of coal have been mined in the early months of 2014 in readiness for full production that is expected to reach 50,000 tonnes a year increasing to 70,000 tonnes. It is estimated that the Terrace mine contains around two million tonnes of coal in the 14 metre thick No. 4 coal seam. An amount that would give it a mine of life of 15 years.

Terrace Mine Capable of a High Level of Production
When the Terrace mine was first opened in the 1900's it produced 5,000 tonnes of coal a year, at that time it was known as the Reefton Coal Company. The mine was purchased by Solid Energy, then Coalcorp, in 1988. By 2000 it was producing 25,000 tonnes a year. In the financial year 2002/3 the Terrace mine produced 73,000 tonnes. However, prior the mine being closed it was producing an average of 45,000 tonnes of coal annually.

Coal has historically been mined from the Terrace underground mine by using the conventional drilling and blasting method until Solid Energy introduced the hyraulic method before closing the operation in mid-2009. The new owner, Crusader, has chosen to re-open the mine using the same technique, this time using a high pressure water cannon that shears the coal from the coal seam, as it considers this is the only viable way to remove coal from the seam because of the steep gradient involved.

Crusader Coal Limited believes that bigger is not necessarily better and many small efficient mining operations are the future of the West Coast of New Zealand's coal industry. The Crusader team is not expected to grow to any more than 15 personnel.

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