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MINE PRODUCTION CAPABILITY
As mentioned above, due primarily to the steep strata dips at KBP it will not be possible to operate the pit using the conventional practice of mining along a seam roof or floor and it will be necessary to develop the mine in horizontal benches that cut across the strata. This geometry will thus limit the rate at which the pit can develop as the numerous relatively thin waste and coal intervals will divide a given working area into multiple small areas. Accordingly the extent to which more efficient, larger scale mining practices can be employed will be limited. For a given bench geometry there will be a maximum rate at which the bench can be developed, due to the limited operating area available for any one task and the clearance required between simultaneous tasks. Substantially increasing the production rate of the pit can only be achieved by increasing the length of the active operating area or areas. This in turn will impact on the size of the working void and alter the balance of waste going to the out of pit and in-pit dumps. Minimising the size of the out of pit dump is critical for KBP as the space available for out of pit dumping is limited and increasing the required capacity means increased dump height. Optimising the balance between production rate and out of pit dump size and hence haulage cost has not been considered for KBP as the TOR stipulated the required production rate. Instead the analysis of production rate has focused on determining a suitable bench width and operating geometry to achieve the required production rate. In practice the geological and geometric variability between the benches will mean every bench will advance at a different rate. However, for the purposes of a long term mine plan it is appropriate to schedule the pit on the basis of an average bench rate. 1.1.1 Bench development rate
Typically any one bench will consist of multiple simultaneously active operating areas and the interaction of these activities will control the advance rate of the bench. The separation between activities will also determine how soon after the commencement of a bench the subsequent bench can be commenced and thus the overlap between benches. The net result of these two is the maximum advance rate for a single terrace, and the number of simultaneously active terraces required is a function of the maximum terrace rate and the required pit production. To determine a suitable bench development rate for long term planning a simplified activity schedule was developed. The activity schedule looked at the four key activities of waste drill and blast (or ripping), waste excavation, coal ripping (or drill and blast) and coal excavation on this bench. The schedule was based on a 400 m by wide 5 m high bench through the western boxcut area at RL 225. RL 225 was chosen as a representative bench in which most of the seams were intersected, benches above would typically feature more seams and benches below would typically feature fewer seams. A width of 400 m was chosen to allow for 2 x 200 m operating passes on the one bench and from experience with similar operations in Australia was chosen as a compromise between operating pass width, frequency of ramp construction, overall operating angle of the pit face and the number of operating areas required to achieve a 5 Mt/annum production rate. To provide fine resolution in the activity scheduling the bench was sub-divided into 50 m x 50 m blocks and the duration of each activity was calculated for each waste and coal block. The blocks were
sequenced assuming that the bench would ideally be advanced from south to north so as to approach the seams from above. Initially the bench would be opened across half its width and as the face progressed the second half would commence. The lag between the blocks within each pass and between the passes was determined from a combination of subjectively determined distance and temporal clearances between activities. Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-1 below presents the section through RL 225 showing the waste and coal intervals associated with each seam with the 50 m x 50 m grid of scheduling blocks overlain. Mining proceeds from south to north. To simulate operations on multiple benches the development sequence for the single bench shown in Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-1 was re-used to represent subsequent benches with the commencement of each bench delayed from that of the bench above by a suitable period of time. The Gantt chart shown in Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-2 shows the timing of this multi-bench scenario. This chart indicates that on each bench: a second excavator can commence on the bench not long after the first excavator, for a brief period toward the end of the bench a third excavator can also be operated, the second and third excavators must finish before the first, leaving the bench to be completed with only one excavator.
The Gantt chart also shows that a second and third bench can be commenced before the first bench is completed, but not a fourth.
Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-1 Representative bench geometry
Terrace advance rate
The schedule shown in Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-2 had a duration of 162 days in which, on average, four benches totalling 1.5 Mm2 were excavated using an average of 5.6 excavators. Under the premise that bench and pit advance rate are a function of operating room, the above translates to an average terrace rate of 9,400 m2 of bench area or, 47,000 bcm of bench volume per calendar day, or about 16.5 Mbcm of bench volume per year. For the current western boxcut, this would give a maximum coal production rate of between 3.9 and 4.3 Mtpa. The schedule assumes that all activities in all blocks occur sequentially and that the first activity of a block does not commence until the last activity of the previous block is completed.
Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-2 Gantt chart of multiple bench operation
Gantt Chart of Bench Development
Bench: RL225, excavator 1 Bench: RL225, excavator 2
Bench: RL225, excavator 3 Bench: RL220, excavator 1 Bench: RL220, excavator 2
Bench: RL220, excavator 3 Bench: RL215, excavator 1 Bench: RL215, excavator 2
Bench: RL215, excavator 3 Bench: RL210, excavator 1 Bench: RL210, excavator 2
Bench: RL210, excavator 3
Calendar Days of Operation
This is very conservative, and in practice would never occur, as activities such as drilling and blasting of planned future blocks would occur in parallel with the excavation of active blocks. To simulate the effect of these simultaneous activities a second model was calculated in which the drill and blast (or ripping) activities were conducted entirely in parallel with either waste or coal mining. This reduces the 162 day cycle to 91 days, and thus increases the advance rate to 16,800 m2 of bench area or 84,000 bcm of bench volume per calendar day, or 29.5 Mbcm of bench volume per year. This more realistic scenario would result in a coal production rate of between 5.5 and 6.0 Mtpa. The above analysis doesn’t allow for operating on 10 m or 15 m benches in the larger interburdens which will also serve to increase the effective rate. However, the practicality of operating larger benches might be problematic. 1.1.3 Maximum coal production rate
Although the analysis presented above is simplistic and is based on a single slice through the boxcut region, it does gives an indication of the likely range of production rates achievable from KBP and matches experience with similar deposits in Australia. The western end of the pit is the widest part of the deposit, and generally the strip ratio increases with easterly advance. As the pit advance rate is a function of area, the coal production rate per linear strike length of terrace will fall in direct proportion to the width and strip ratio. For the purposes of the DPR it has been assumed that a coal production rate of up to 6 Mtpa should be
achievable during the western boxcut development. Beyond the western boxcut it will be necessary to operate two terraces simultaneously to meet a coal production rate of 8 Mtpa and this will need to increase to three terraces when mining in the eastern end. As with all other aspects of the pit design and scheduling for KBP there is a need to invest significant planning effort in advance of the commencement of mining to optimise the terrace length, face geometry and hence more accurately model the achievable production capacity.
1.2 SELECTION OF MINING SYSTEM
The selection of the appropriate mining system needs to consider a range of technical and non-technical issues. The technical issues are often relatively easily evaluated and ranked, but depending upon the number of systems considered, a clear preference may not emerge from the technical evaluation alone. The selection of the appropriate system from amongst a number of technically equivalent options is often ultimately based on the subjective evaluation of the non-technical issues; this is the case with KBP. As briefly discussed in section Error! Reference source not found., only three possible systems were considered for KBP. These systems were chosen after considerable qualitative evaluation by AMC and Tata Steel staff and were arrived at by mapping the strategic decisions that could be taken in the development of Kotre Basantpur - Pachmo. All three systems are predicated on the following assumptions; coal production rate of 8 Mtpa of RoM coal; mining must commence in FYEM 2011; mining must commence at the western end due to predicted delays in relocating the residents of Pachmo village; terrace mining (as opposed to strip mining) is the required steady state mining method; 5 Mtpa RoM coal is achievable from a single pit, but 8 Mtpa requires either two pits or an increase in the operating area for a single pit as per the analysis in section 1.1.3; due to the disposition of the seams and the thickness of the weathered zone, the lowest strip ratio at any location is achieved at the basal seam; geological and geotechnical issues will be technically resolvable.
Based on the above assumptions the decision tree was mapped as follows. Mining must commence in the west, despite the likely greater geological and geotechnical complexity and the suspicions of Tata Steel staff of greater hydrological uncertainty at the western end. Due to strip ratio considerations it is not feasible to operate a shallow pit over a large area and thus avoid these geo-hazards which are typically depth dependent; it will be necessary to operate a smaller pit to full depth. Thus, having in all likelihood encountered and dealt with the geo-hazards in the initial four to five years of operation, and progressed toward establishing an initial void for future in-pit dumping, there is a strong argument for continuing with an easterly advancing pit. However, as the depth of the western boxcut increases beyond the fifth year the operating area decreases rapidly and it will not be possible to produce the planned 8 Mtpa from the western boxcut alone. There are two possible solutions to this. The first is simply to expand the operating area of the western pit by commencing
subsequent terraces earlier; this has significant implications for out of pit dump requirements. The second is to start a supplementary pit, and as central boxcuts are less efficient the eastern end of the deposit is the obvious location for a second pit. Thus the first two cases are defined. The cases identified above are predicated on the geo-hazards of the western pit either not eventuating and/or adequate remedial measure being implemented to resolve these issues. Until after year five there is in fact no practical alternative to mining from the western end, but after year five it may be more cost effective or practical to shift the focus to the eastern end and reverse the principle direction of advance from easterly to westerly. This strategy defined the third case to be considered. In summary the three cases considered were: Case 1 - Commence mining from western boxcut ramping up to 5 Mtpa by FYEM 2014. In FYEM 2015 expand the West Pit to achieve 8 Mtpa, and continue mining from west to east to completion. Case 2 – as per Case 1 to FYEM 2014. In FYEM 2015 commence the secondary East Pit, building up to 2 Mtpa and then continuing at nominally 6 Mtpa from the West Pit and 2 Mtpa from the East Pit to completion. Case 3 – as per Cases 1 & 2 until FYEM 2014. In FYEM 2015 commence the East Pit, rapidly ramping up to 5.75 Mtpa in two years and then continuing at nominally 5.75 Mtpa from the East Pit and 2.25 Mtpa from the West Pit to completion. To properly evaluate the three cases would require developing detailed pit designs, mining schedules and costs estimates for all options. These could then be assessed in the context of technical issues such as cost and general ease of operation, and non-technical issues such as land acquisition, statutory requirements and restrictions and relationship with neighbours. In view of the absence of washability data any technical assessment of these cases would at best be a relative ranking on a RoM coal basis. Hence it was agreed with Tata Steel staff that detailed costing was not necessary and that the options could be ranked relatively on the basis of economic indicator(s); primarily strip ratio, haulage lift for waste and capital. The details of this analysis are discussed further below, but in summary: Case 3 is the least attractive because: it involves considerably higher dump lifts; surface water management is more complicated; the final void is greater.
There is little to distinguish between Cases 1 and 2, and on a purely technical basis, AMC favours Case 1 for the following reasons: a single pit involving a single boxcut is easier to design and manage; water management is easiest; the dump lift is the equal lowest; the location of infrastructure such as conveyors, pipelines, and workshops is more straightforward; the final void is the smallest; the geo-hazards are believed to be manageable through thorough prior investigations.
However, Tata Steel has elected to proceed with Case 2, for reasons relating mainly to security of supply. If there are problems in achieving the production levels in the West Pit, production can be lifted in the East Pit to compensate. If approval is given by the authorities for Case 2, then Tata Steel has much more flexibility in how it develops the mine; approval for Case 2 does not preclude adopting Case 1. Technical assessment
For each of the three cases, detailed pit design and mining and dumping schedules were prepared. A discussion of the key technical and non-technical differences follows. 126.96.36.199 Strip ratio As was to be expected, the overall strip ratio for all three cases is almost identical, as all three share the same ultimate pit shell. (Several months separated the evaluation of the three options, during which time a minor revision made to the depth of weathering. Cases 1 and 2 feature a slightly higher strip ratio than Case 3 due to this change.) On an annual basis, however, there are some significant differences, driven by the interaction of two key attributes of the deposit. Firstly, the western end generally has a lower strip ratio than the eastern end. Secondly, the weathered material is a significant portion of the waste, which causes a spike in waste removal well in excess of the average strip ratio when each boxcut and terrace is opened, followed by a rapid improvement in strip ratio with depth. Until FYEM 2014 mining is restricted to the western end in all cases. However, during this period the development strategy for Cases 1 and 2 is to establish a sustainable profile, whereas for Case 3 the development strategy is to meet the initial coal demand only until the East Pit can be developed. This difference results in “high grading” of the West Pit in Case 3, resulting in a lower annual strip ratio out to FYEM 2014 and a lower average strip ratio out to FYEM 2015. From FYEM 2015 onward the annual strip ratio is highly variable in each case. This would be optimised though short and medium term planning, but the cumulative average strip ratio shows a clear trend that reflects the underlying differences in the cases and will thus remain irrespective of the annual variations. Case 1 suffers a spike in strip ratio between FYEM 2015 and FYEM 2020 as the eastern pit is developed and significant prestripping is required. To some extent Case 2 also suffers a strip ratio penalty over the same period, but it is less severe as the East Pit development is slower than for Case 1. Case 1 has a slightly elevated strip ratio relative to Case 2 between FYEM 2018 to FYEM 2027 as the need to operate an additional terrace in the West Pit brings forward prestripping. Beyond FYEM 2020 the annual strip ratio is less variable for all cases. Case 1 has a substantially lower strip ratio than Case 2, but both cases show a similar pattern of slight increase as the pit advances into the higher strip ratio East Pit, followed by a more rapid decrease in the latter few years. Case 3 shows a steady reduction in strip ratio as the pit advances into the lower strip ratio West Pit, followed by a more rapid decrease in the latter few years and generally has a better strip ratio than the other two cases in the latter period. A comparison of strip ratio is presented in Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-3 below. Overall, the strip ratio is not a critical element in deciding the preferred case, as it favours Case 3 in the
early years of low production to FYEM 2015, and weakly favours Case 2 in the steady state high production period beyond FYEM 2015. When some allowance is made for the discounted difference in waste removal cost associated with the strip ratio variation, all three cases are within a few percent. It should also be borne in mind that there is considerable opportunity to manipulate annual strip ratio by bringing forward or deferring the removal of alluvium.
Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-3 Strip ratio comparison
Average ROM Strip Ratio (bcm:t)
9 Case 1
188.8.131.52 Dump lift For a high strip ratio and deep mine the cost of waste haulage can approach 50% of the operating cost, hence one of the critical parameters that will affect the cost of mining is the height to which the waste must be elevated in the waste dumps. For all three cases the total waste quantity, pit depth and out of pit dump footprint are identical. In addition, as shown in section 184.108.40.206, the average strip ratio and hence the cumulative waste quantity does not differ greatly between the cases. Hence any difference in dump height between the cases can be due only to differences in timing, the working void and the efficiency of the use of the in-pit dump space. For KBP, this is in fact a complex problem to optimise. In general, due to a combination of strata orientation, high-wall orientation, presence of faults and pit width, the western end requires a much larger boxcut and thus longer lead time to the commencement of in-pit dumping than the east. The western boxcut, once completed, releases a substantial in-pit dump capacity. As the pit narrows from west to east rapidly, the West Pit reaches a balance between waste removal and void creation in which no additional out of pit dumping is required quite soon after the completion of the boxcut. Conversely, the dump capacity of the narrower eastern end is limited. As the pit rapidly widens from east to west it would take substantially longer for an East Pit to achieve the same geometric balance. Dump lift is
therefore highly sensitive to effective face angle for both system as this determines how much waste is stripped in excess of the in-pit dump capacity and hence the amount of out of pit dump capacity needed and the level to which a fixed footprint dump must be lifted. This is where coal production rate complicates the balance, as the complexity of the KBP geology means that coal production rate is closely linked to strip ratio and active operating area (see section 1.1.3), hence the length of open pit must vary from west to east due to difference in strip ratio and pit width. In the context of the above, the conceptual relationship between the three cases under consideration is as follows: Case 1 should require a flatter face angle in the West Pit to achieve 8 Mtpa and hence will mean that more of terrace one, and possibly two, are stripped before the boxcut has been voided. This should increase the out of pit dump requirement. Case 2 should achieve a steeper face angle than case 1 as only 5~6 Mtpa is required; this should mean a lower out of pit dump requirement than Case 1. However, the extra 2~3 Mtpa must come from the East Pit at a higher strip ratio and additional out of pit capacity is required to accommodate this waste. As both pits are operating at lower production rates they should have steeper face angles and should require less prestripping. Whether the saving in West Pit waste is more than offset by the East Pit waste or the steepening of both faces is sufficient to reduce the out of pit dump requirements is the essence of the difference between cases 1 and 2. Case 3 should have the steepest West Pit face as the principal coal production is from the East Pit; theoretically this vastly reduces the working void of the West Pit. However, this would result in a much flatter East Pit face as several terraces must be active in the narrower eastern end to maintain the same operating area and thus achieve the 5~6 Mtpa coal production rate. Furthermore, the western boxcut is developed so slowly that it fails to release any dump space until the East Pit is nearing completion and therefore does not contribute to reducing the dump lift.
The outcome from the mine schedules for the three cases matches the above expectation reasonably well. Until FYEM 2017 all waste is placed in the out of pit dump. Dump level and lift rise steadily over time and there is little difference between the cases. Beyond FYEM 2017, the annual average dump level for all three cases varies quite erratically, generally dropping when a terrace is completed and inpit dump space is released and increasing as this space is consumed. As with the annual strip ratio, medium and short term planning will optimise and levelise this annual variation, but the overall trend will remain. This trend shows a plateauing and possibly a reduction in the dump level and lift for Cases 1 and 2 in response to the increasing proportion of in-pit dumping, whereas the dump level for Case 3 continues to rise until the last few years. A comparison of the annual dump level is presented in Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-4 below and a comparison of dump lift is presented in Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-5. Overall there is little difference between Cases 1 and 2. There are some big differences in individual years, but these tend to balance out. The maximum RL of dumps in both Cases 1 and 2 is about 450 m in FY2020, but the maximum RL of the dumps in Case 3 is over 500 m. The surface RL on the northern margin is about 350 m, so the average dump height for Cases 1 and 2 is about 100 metres and for Case 3, about 150 m. Clearly either case 1 or 2 is vastly better than Case 3 on the basis of dump lift
BMC x Metres Lift m
FYEM2015 FYEM2016 FYEM2017 FYEM2018 FYEM2019 FYEM2020 FYEM2021 FYEM2022 FYEM2023 FYEM2024 FYEM2025 FYEM2026 FYEM2027 FYEM2028
Cumulative Volume x Lift
Average Dump Level
Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-5 Comparison of dump lift
Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-4 Comparison of dump level
FYEM2029 FYEM2030 FYEM2031 FYEM2032
220.127.116.11 Peak waste removal levels. Case 2 involves the lowest levels of waste removal in the early years, and is lower than Case 1 until very late in the mine life. Case 3 involves very high levels of waste removal in the first ten years. In FY 2017 Case 1 requires 43 Mbcm compared with 38 Mbcm for Case 2. In 2022 and following, Case 1 requires 47 Mbcm compared with 44 to 46 Mbcm for Case 2. The annual waste requirement is a good measure of excavator and hauler numbers and thus capital and personnel numbers. Thus steady or gradually changing equipment numbers are thus much preferred to rapidly changing ones. Case 2 not only has lower peak rates in the middle years, it also has a less variable profile and therefore has greater potential that medium and short term planning can optimise and smooth the excavator and hauler requirements. Overall, Case 2 is to be preferred on the basis of maximum waste alone, but this must be considered in conjunction with dump lift. As with annual strip ratio, there is some opportunity to smooth annual waste requirements by adjusting the alluvium removal rate. Bringing forward waste removal usually means excessive coal inventory (or in the case of KBP, excessive coal stockpiles), but bringing forward the removal of alluvium does not uncover any more coal. 18.104.22.168 Time rate of waste removal For a high strip ratio mining operation, the net present value of the waste schedule is usually a good indication of the overall cost of mining, as waste removal is usually the single biggest cost centre. For an interest rate of 12.5%, the NPVs of total waste for each of the case are as follows: Case 1: 215.8 Mbcm Case 2: 210.6 Mbcm (minus 2.4%) Case 3: 218.8. Mbcm (plus 1.4%) These differences are within the overall accuracy of the estimates for this DPR, but they do indicate that Case 2 has a small advantage, and that Case 3 is the least attractive. 22.214.171.124 In-pit inventory In a mine such as KBP, where the coal and waste must be mined together, and where it is impractical to leave large quantities of coal in pit, management of the in-pit inventory assumes major proportions, and is a significant driver of short and medium term mine planning. In short and medium term planning, the order in which blocks or parts of blocks are excavated can be readily changed to ensure that the in-pit inventory stays within the agreed limits. In long-term planning, it is not always practical to do this, because the size of the blocks has to be reduced so much that the total number of mining blocks being scheduled becomes unmanageable. Tata Steel require a mine mouth stockpile of one week’s production (160,000 t), and it would be desirable to have about one month’s production (500,000 t) in pit. This will be difficult to manage given the thin seams and low working benches. For a 5 m thick seam on a 5 m high bench, 500,000 t requires that 15 km of seam strike length be exposed!
The schedule charts show inventory averaging about 1 Mt and exceeding 2 Mt in some years. These levels can be greatly reduced by good short/medium term planning, but we believe provision should be made for a large “dead” surface stockpile so that coal can be evacuated as needed to allow mining operations to proceed efficiently. Alternatively, the excess coal could be sent to the washery if capacity was available. Case 1, which involves only one pit, is the most difficult to manage. There is little to distinguish between Cases 2 and 3. Overall, other than the improved opportunity to manage inventory with two pits over one pit, AMC does not feel that inventory is a driver in selecting the preferred case.
1.3 MINE DEVELOPMENT SEQUENCE
The following section is based on the development of Case 2 described in 1.2 above. The preferred approach is to develop the deposit from both ends simultaneously. This configuration may suffer some minor operational inefficiencies and cost penalties, but is preferred as it offers a lower risk profile and greater security of supply than a single pit. Although the deposit is developed from both ends, the operation is biased toward the western end for the first 16 or 17 years of operation, until about FYEM 2027. During this period approximately 75% of the coal production is from the West Pit. Around FYEM 2026 the West Pit and East Pit converge and the remaining reserves are contained within a pillar centred approximately on the Pachmo Nala. This pillar offers some semblance of a two pit operation for another year or so as there are multiple terraces operational on the western side of the pillar and the west and east operations are separated by quite some distance. Beyond approximately FYEM 2028, the operation is effectively a single pit comprising the lower benches of the final West Pit terrace and the final East Pit terrace which are operated simultaneously. For much of the mine life the West Pit and East Pit will operate quite independently other than sharing infrastructure and services, and re-allocation of excavators and haulers between pits in response to short term strip ratio variations and production schedule requirements. Until FYEM 2023 West and East Pit coal will be crushed and stockpiled at two separate crusher stations. From FYEM 2024 all coal will be crushed and stockpiled at a single location. With regard to surface dump development there is no distinction between the West and East Pit dump space. Waste is allocated to the surface dumps as required to balance the overall dump lift and haulage cost. Due to the size difference between the west and east boxcuts, the bulk of the ex-pit space is consumed by the West Pit. Until approximately FYEM 2028 the in-pit dump development in each pit is totally isolated from the other, but beyond FYEM 2029 waste is distributed to both in-pit dump systems as required to balance the overall dump lift and haulage cost. One complication of the two pit configuration is maintaining ramp access to the surface once the pits have converged and there is no pit face that extends to the surface other than the high-wall. It has been assumed that from approximately FYEM 2028 onward ramps will be needed in the dump faces for all coal haulage and some waste haulage.
West Pit design
The design rationale of the West Pit boxcut is covered in detail in section Error! Reference source not found. Error! Reference source not found.. Of necessity the West Pit boxcut is large, approximately 2 km in strike length and 250 Mbcm in volume. Due to the considerable thickness of the alluvium and weathered material, the boxcut has been split into three stages to minimise the pre-strip burden in the early years. Beyond the boxcut the West Pit is comprised of six terraces; each terrace is approximately 400 m in strike length and is aligned nominally perpendicularly to the strike of the high-wall. The advancing face of each terrace features a ramp system with switchbacks against the low-wall and high-wall; this provides haulage access for both waste and coal. The number of switchbacks in each terrace is a function of the pit width and terrace depth, and depending upon the longitudinal gradient of the floor the ramp system may include a final section aligned parallel to the high-wall. The ramp exit for all terraces is on the high-wall side providing direct access to the southern haulage corridor for coal. Where feasible the advancing face ramps include high-wall switchbacks at RL 290 and RL 215 and thus provide direct access onto the cross pit high-wall haul roads; this may require manipulating the gradient of some sections of the ramp between 1 in 16 and 1 in 12. Where this is not possible, horizontal haul roads are included in the advancing face to tie in with the high-wall haul roads. Where haulage in the northern wall is available a low-wall switchback will be designed to match the level of the north wall haulroad. 1.3.3 East pit design
The design rationale of the East Pit boxcut is covered in detail in section Error! Reference source not found.. The East Pit boxcut is much smaller than the west and as coal production from the East Pit is supplementary to the West Pit there is no need to stage the East Pit boxcut to manage prestrip demands. Beyond the boxcut the East Pit comprises three terraces; the first two are approximately 400 m in strike length, are aligned nominally perpendicularly to the strike of the high-wall and feature ramp systems as for the West Pit terrace designs. The third terrace is not strictly a design per se, but the pillar left between the sixth terrace of the West Pit and the second terrace of the East Pit. The surface expression of the West and East Pit design stages are shown in Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-6 below
Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-6 Pit design stages
It will be noted that the development of the western boxcut shown above differs from the early designs shown in Chapter 2. 1.3.4 Mine development
All of the stage plans are printed A3 size and can be found at the end of this chapter. FYEM 2011
Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-7 Stage plans for FYEM 2011 Figure 3-8west Western boxcut 1:10,000
Mining commences with the removal of 0.5 Mbcm of topsoil, alluvium and weathered material from the western half of stage one of the western boxcut. At this stage, the pit has advanced little beyond the removal of the topographic high points and it is assumed that all of this waste is removed by a contractor. The bulk of the waste material will be used to commence construction of short term flood protection immediately north and west of the western boxcut. Excess topsoil will be temporarily stockpiled beyond the eastern edge of the boxcut for subsequent use in rehabilitating the surface dumps.
FYEM 2012 Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-8 Stage plans for FYEM 2012 Figure 3-9west Western boxcut 1:10,000
In 2012 development remains entirely within the first stage of the western boxcut. Removal of the topsoil, alluvium and weathered material remaining on the eastern half of stage one is completed, and development of the eastern half is accelerated to match that of the western half and to establish a single operating level at RL 325 across the pit. A total of 9.3 Mbcm of waste is removed and 1.25 Mt of coal is mined in the period. During this year the entire pit is rapidly developing and the pit area is quite small so there is no real opportunity to carry any in-pit inventory. However, the strip ratio of stage one is well below the deposit average and a further 2.5 Mt (80% of the production requirement for FYEM 2013) is available at a strip ratio of 3:1 and could thus be accessed quickly. The pit is approaching 40 m depth by the end of the year and the permanent ramp in the western endwall of the pit has been established for both waste and coal haulage. All coal is planned to be hauled via the surface around the western end-wall and along the southern corridor to the West Pit crusher. There may be some opportunities to haul some coal from the upper benches in a south-easterly direction directly to the crusher. Most of the waste will be used to continue construction of short term flood protection immediately north of the western boxcut and to commence development of the main out of pit dump and long term flood protection north and west of the pit. Excess topsoil will be temporarily stockpiled beyond the eastern edge of the boxcut for subsequent use in rehabilitating the surface dumps.
FYEM 2013 Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-9 Stage plans for FYEM 2013 Figure 3-10west Western boxcut 1:10,000
In 2013 the operating area in the western boxcut expands considerably to accommodate the increased equipment numbers required to achieve the higher waste and coal production rates, and activities are distributed over the entire western boxcut throughout the year. Stage one of the boxcut is completed during the year with no coal remaining within the pit by the end of the year. Consequently, a very small amount of in-pit dump space within the graben is available for use in 2014 and beyond. Stage two is developed to RL 340/RL 335, which sees the topographic high points removed and a horizontal pit floor established across most of this stage Stage three is also developed to RL 340/RL 335, but due to differences in natural surface between stages two and three a horizontal pit floor has not yet been established across the stage and the pit is still cutting through the topographic high points. A total of 15.4 Mbcm of waste is removed and 3.0 Mt of coal are mined in the period. During this year stage two is rapidly developing and stage three only just touches coal bearing benches and there is still no real opportunity to carry any in-pit inventory. However, as the pit area has increased substantially the coal carried on each bench is significant, for example the subsequent stage two benches each carry
0.5 Mt at approximately 3:1 strip ratio and it would be possible to quickly access some of this coal to meet short term production shortfalls without stripping the entire waste on a bench. All coal is planned to be hauled via the surface around the western end-wall and along the southern corridor to the West Pit crusher. There may be some opportunities to haul some coal from the upper benches in an easterly or south-easterly direction directly to the crusher, particularly from stage three. All waste from stage two and most of the waste from stage three will be hauled via the permanent ramp in the western end-wall. Small quantities of stage two waste and some stage three waste can be hauled directly north and north-east across the natural surface to the out of pit dump. Temporary topsoil stockpiling will continue east of the advancing face of the boxcut. By the end of this year, however, it will also be possible to directly place some small quantities of topsoil on the periphery of the western flood protection levy and the northern out of pit dumps where they have reached their final extent and elevation. The bulk of the waste material will be placed in the out of pit dump directly north of the boxcut up to an elevation of RL 380. To help minimise the overall lift for the waste haulage the out-of-pit dump will also be developing east at lower elevations than that immediately north of the boxcut.
FYEM 2014 Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-10 Stage plan for FYEM 2014 Figure 3-11west Western boxcut 1:10,000
In this year activity is concentrated in stages two and three of the western boxcut and the rate of vertical advance through both stage increases to accommodate a further increase in coal production and hence waste removal. A total of 32.3 Mbcm of waste is removed and 5.0 Mt of coal are mined in the year. Due to the sizable area of the western boxcut it is possible to accommodate multiple fleets on a few benches and stages two and three will advance at approximately the same vertical rate. By the end of the year stage two will have reached RL 310/305 and stage three will a bench or so higher. As with previous years the in-pit inventory will be minimal. By the end of this year the pit will be typically 30m to 40m deep at the crest (depth from the topographic highs within the stages is greater) and all haulage must now use the permanent ramps. Access to both stages will be via the permanent ramp in the western end-wall. Additional access to stage three will be available via the advancing face ramp that exits the western boxcut on the high-wall side. Coal haulage can be scheduled between either of these two ramps systems as required. For example, haulage would default to the shorter route via the advancing face ramp system, but when access to this ramp is unavailable the western end-wall ramp can be used. As the production rate increases the ramp traffic and vertical advance rate of the pit will increase too. This will increase the frequency of ramp closures due to either the extending or maintenance of the ramp and the need to maintain a secondary access will become critical. Most of the waste from both stages will be hauled via the permanent ramp in the western end-wall. Small quantities of waste may be hauled via the advancing face ramp but as this ramp exits on the highwall side and would thus require an additional flat haul to reach the out of pit dump on the northern
side there would be little advantage to using this haul route other than when the primary ramp was unavailable. By the end of FYEM2014 the northern out of pit dump has reached its northern extent and a substantial flat area has been created where the gullies have been filled to prevent ponding against the eventual dump toe. Topsoil previously stockpiled east of the boxcut is used in rehabilitating this area which also serves as a site for stockpiling excess topsoil area. The bulk of the waste material will be placed in the out of pit dump directly north of the boxcut up to an elevation of RL 400.
FYEM 2015 Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-11 Stage plan for FYEM 2015 Figure 3-12west Western boxcut 1:10,000 Figure 3-12east Eastern boxcut 1:10,000
This year sees a significant change in operations with the commencement of the eastern boxcut, which in turn allows a further expansion in waste removal and coal production. A total of 36.0 Mbcm of waste is removed and 7.8 Mt of coal are mined in the year. The bulk of this production comes from the western boxcut – 26 Mbcm and 6 Mt - as it essential to complete the West Pit as rapidly as possible as the two boxcuts will continue to compete for out of pit dump space until inpit dumping can commence in the West Pit. As with the previous year the large area of the western boxcut will allow multiple fleets on only a few bench levels and in general both stages will advance at the same vertical rate to around RL 280 by the end of the year. By the end of this year the western boxcut will be 60 m to 70 m deep at the crest, the western end-wall and advancing face ramps will be well established and the in-pit haulroad at RL 290 will have been constructed in the high-wall and western end-wall for later use in developing the in-pit dumps. Due to the additional coal production available from the East Pit, pre-stripping of the first terrace beyond the boxcut in the West Pit has still not commenced. As with the previous year, the bulk of the coal haulage from the western boxcut will be via the advancing face ramp with secondary haulage via the western end-wall ramp and the bulk of the waste haulage from the western boxcut will be via the permanent ramp in the western end-wall with secondary haulage via the advancing face ramp. The bulk of the waste material from the western boxcut will be placed in the out of pit dump directly north of the pit up to an elevation of RL 400. This out of pit dump will continue to advance east along the future the pit crest at a lower elevation than that immediately north of the pit to help balance the cost of haulage from the deepest benches of the western boxcut. Although the eastern boxcut has a smaller area than the West Pit it is geologically much simpler with approximately half the number of individual seams or seam splits and possibly no large faults and will thus advance quite rapidly. By the end of the year a horizontal pit floor will have been established over most of the eastern boxcut at around RL 300. The eastern boxcut features an advancing face ramp that exits the pit on the high-wall side as best suits
long term coal haulage. However, the eastern boxcut high-wall crest is approximately 40 m below the low-wall crest and the advancing face ramp does not come into existence until the end of the year. Hence, during this year all eastern boxcut waste haulage will exit the pit on the low-wall side via temporary ramp(s). Approximately half of the year’s coal production is sourced from benches above the level of the advancing face ramp exit and will not use that ramp. Instead coal will be hauled east across the pit floor to the eastern crusher near the washery. The latter half of the year’s coal production will exit via the advancing face ramp and be hauled via the southern corridor to the eastern crusher near the washery. In FYEM2012 it will be necessary to stockpile eastern boxcut topsoil nearer the western end of the northern out of pit dump as there is no suitable area closer to the eastern boxcut and a greater quantity of topsoil will be needed for rehabilitating the western end of the dump. A small quantity of topsoil will also be stockpiled on the western flood protection bund for future rehabilitation use. All eastern boxcut waste will be placed in the out of pit dump immediately north of the pit up to an elevation of RL 380.
FYEM 2016 to FYEM 2018 Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-12 Stage plan for FYEM 2016 to FYEM 2018 Figure 3-13west West Pit 1:10,000 Figure 3-13east Eastern boxcut 1:10,000
This three year period sees the establishment of a multi-terrace steady state profile in both the West Pit and East Pit and at the end of this period the first in-pit dumping has occurred within both pits. Both waste removal and coal production are steady at 38 Mbcm and 8 Mt per annum respectively throughout this period. At the end of this period stage two of the western boxcut has been completed. Stage three of the western boxcut is at RL 200 - still more than 100 m above the final level of the western boxcut. Terrace one in the West Pit is well developed to RL 255. Topsoil, alluvium and weathered waste stripping has commenced in terrace two of the West Pit to RL 350. During 2016 and 2017, before any significant advance of terrace one in the West Pit, waste haulage for the western boxcut waste will be split between the western end-wall ramp and the western boxcut advancing face ramp in accordance with the dump destination. West Pit terrace one waste haulage during this period will be directly north across the bench floor and via temporary low-wall ramps to the natural surface and the appropriate dump. In 2018 terrace one advances very rapidly and cuts off the western boxcut advancing face ramp, and the western boxcut extends below the level of the western end-wall ramp. Hence, during 2018 all West Pit waste going to the out of pit dump will need to cross the terrace one bench and exit via the terrace one ramp. Similarly for coal, during 2016 and 2017 the primary haulage route for western boxcut coal will be via the advancing face ramp and secondary access will continue to be available via the western end-wall ramp. In 2018 all coal will need to exit via the terrace one ramp. The bulk of the waste material from the West Pit will be placed in the out of pit dump directly north of the pit up to an elevation of RL 460. The easterly extension of this dump will have grown considerably by this stage and reached an elevation of RL 400; this dump continues to offer an elevation saving over
the main out of pit dump immediately north of the pit for the deepest waste coming from the West Pit. Some 9 Mbcm of the deepest western boxcut waste will be placed back in pit within the graben in the western boxcut. Due to the smaller size of the East Pit stages and the lower production from the East Pit the development of the East Pit is somewhat simpler than the West Pit. During 2016 the eastern boxcut is developed to RL 260 with only minor prestripping of topsoil and alluvium occurring in terrace one of the East Pit. By 2017 the eastern boxcut is complete, terrace one has advanced to RL 300/295 and prestripping of terrace two has commenced. In 2018 the East Pit development is minimal with terrace one advancing only a few benches to RL 290. The current designs for the eastern boxcut and terraces use a combination of high-wall and low-wall exiting ramps in the advancing faces. This has been done to show the flexibility that exists with this type of pit configuration but does not imply that these ramps must remain in this geometry. Further, more detailed planning will be required to determine the best orientation of the ramps, but the following description is based on the current ramp geometry. All East Pit coal mined during this period will be hauled to the East Pit crusher near the washery. During 2016 all waste and coal haulage from the eastern boxcut will exit via the boxcut advancing face ramp on the high-wall side; this exit favours coal haulage as it connects with the southern haulage corridor but waste will need to be hauled north back across the pit to the out of pit dump immediately north of the pit. In 2017 and 2018 all East Pit activity is within terrace one, all waste and coal will be hauled via the terrace one advancing face which exits the pit on the low-wall side. In 2016 and 2017 all of the waste material from the East Pit will be placed in the out of pit dump directly north of the pit up to an elevation of RL 400. In 2018 only 2.0 Mbcm of waste is removed from the East Pit and this is all placed back in pit within the eastern boxcut. During this period the northern perimeter of the out of pit dump will be progressively rehabilitated as the dump develops and some areas reach their final face position and/or elevation. Where possible, topsoil will be stockpiled near the crest of the dump as close to its final destination for subsequent spreading. Some temporary topsoil stockpiling will continue to occur inside the eventual pit limits – this topsoil will need to be rehandled to its eventual destination as the pit advances. It is not feasible to schedule large swings in total production and hence personnel levels from year to year in response to the ever changing strip ratio as the pit develops. Also, due to the multiple seams and small bench heights planned it will be essential that coal is cleared from the pit as it is uncovered, irrespective of the washery requirements, to avoid delaying the overall pit advance. Hence, it will be necessary to maintain large surface stockpiles of RoM coal to deal with these surges and the inevitable ebbs in coal flow from the pit. A total of 41.0 Mt of coal has been uncovered and mined by the end of 2018, during 2016 and 2017 the surface inventory peaks at 1.2 Mt, however, almost all of this is reclaimed in 2018. A total of 208 Mbcm of waste has been removed from the west and East Pits by the end of 2018, 197 Mbcm of this has been placed in the out of pit dump and only 11.0 Mbcm has been placed back in pit.
FYEM 2019~FYEM 2025 Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-13 Stage plan for FYEM 2019 to FYEM 2025 Figure 3-14west_east West Pit and East Pit 1:10,000 Figure 3-14 cross section
This seven year period sees steady state development of Kotre Basantpur - Pachmo in which the East and West Pits operate effectively as independent haulback pits. The West Pit is operated typically with two active terraces and produces an average of 6 Mtpa; the East Pit is operated typically as a single terrace and produces an average of 2 Mtpa. A total of 288 Mbcm of waste is removed, 57 Mt of coal is uncovered and 56 Mt of coal is mined during this period. The average strip ratio during this period is similar to the first eight years of operation but increases with time. The annual waste stripping capacity reflects this, initially dropping from 38 Mbcm/annum in 2018 to 37 Mbcm/annum for two years and then rises to 46 Mbcm/annum by 2025. By the end of this period nearly half a billion cubic metres of waste (495.4 Mbcm) has been removed, a total of 98 Mt of coal has been uncovered and mined and 97 Mt of coal has been processed. Coal inventory is generally better during this period than during the preceding eight years, peaking at 1.3 Mt in 2019 and dropping to 0.2 Mt in 2022 and 2023. All coal haulage will be via the switchback ramp in the advancing face of the terrace designs. Up until 2023 all West Pit coal will hauled via the southern corridor to the western crusher near Pachmo Nala. In 2024 the West Pit crusher will need to be relocated to the East Pit crusher location in preparation for prestripping of the final West Pit terrace. All West Pit coal mined after 2023 will be hauled via the southern corridor to the common crusher location near the washery. All East Pit coal will be hauled via the southern corridor to the East Pit crusher near the washery. During this period the in-pit dumps will merge with the out of pit dump and above natural surface level the distinction between the out of pit and in-pit dumps will cease to exist. A total of 213 Mbcm of waste from both pits is placed in the in-pit dumps either above or below natural surface level, and 75 Mbcm is placed above the natural surface level, beyond the high-wall crest within the footprint of the out of pit dump. As with coal haulage, all waste haulage is via the switchback ramp in the advancing face of the terrace designs. Where multiple terraces are operated simultaneously, it may be necessary to haul across the bench floor of one and occasionally two terraces to access the in-pit haulroads or exit the pit. Approximately half of the waste placed back in pit will be above the natural surface level up to RL 420. This waste will be hauled to the surface and then via the southern corridor to the appropriate in-pit dump and then elevated via ramps either within the advancing or external faces of the dump The remaining waste that is placed in pit will cross the pit from the mining face to the dump face via combinations of the two high-wall haulroads and the lower level road in the northern wall where present. The waste will be elevated to the correct dumping level on the dumps via ramps within the dump face. By the end of this period much of the western and northern perimeters of the out of pit dump has been rehabilitated and some preparation of the eastern end has commenced. Almost the entire pit has been opened, leaving only a small quantity of topsoil remaining in west pit terraces five and six. It will be necessary to establish a large temporary topsoil stockpile within the footprint of west pit terrace six as there are no suitable permanent areas nearby.
An annual summary of the pit development for 2019~2025 is listed below: 2019: Western boxcut: RL 185 West Pit terrace one: RL 205 West Pit terrace two: topsoil and alluvium prestripping to RL 345 East Pit boxcut completed East Pit terrace one: RL 240 2020: Western boxcut completed West Pit terrace one: RL 165 West Pit terrace two: RL 300 East Pit terrace one: RL 220 East Pit terrace two: RL 325 2021: West Pit terrace one: RL 125 West Pit terrace two: RL 255 East Pit terrace one completed East Pit terrace two: RL 320 2022: West Pit terrace one completed West Pit terrace two: RL 210 West Pit terrace three: RL 280 West Pit terrace four: topsoil and alluvium prestripping to RL 345 East Pit terrace two: RL 305 2023: West Pit terrace two: RL 170 West Pit terrace three: RL 200 West Pit terrace four: topsoil and alluvium prestripping to RL 345 East Pit terrace two: RL 265 2024: West Pit terrace two completed West Pit terrace three: RL 145
West Pit terrace four: RL 300 West Pit terrace five: topsoil and alluvium prestripping to RL 335 East Pit terrace two: RL 220 2025: West Pit terrace three completed West Pit terrace four: RL 230 West Pit terrace five: RL 335 West Pit terrace six: RL 335 East Pit terrace two: RL 185
FYEM 2026~FYEM 2028 Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-14 Stage plan for FYEM 2026 to FYEM 2028
In 2026 the West and East Pits merge, and KBP ceases to be two separate haulback pits and changes into a more complex geometry of a bridge between the high-wall and northern wall bounded on the east and west by void. This geometry complicates pit operations, particularly haulage, as access to the surface via intact material is lost and must be recreated in the dumps. Initially, the vertical rate of advance for West Pit terrace six is slow and it will possible to maintain a high-wall exiting ramp as a bridge for three years. Hence, the period 2026~2028 is effectively a transitional period in which the steady state operation of two distinct and haulback pits as per previous seven years will be replaced by a single large pit operation. A total of 135.5 Mbcm of waste is removed, 23.1 Mt of coal is uncovered and 24 Mt of coal is mined during this period. The average strip ratio during this period is about 15% higher than the preceding seven years and the annual waste stripping requirement thus remains at the previous period’s peak of 46 Mbcm/annum for the first two years then drops to 43.5 Mbcm/annum in the final year. Despite this continued high waste stripping, it will be necessary to deplete the coal inventory by almost 0.9 Mt to around 0.2 Mt to avoid a short term spike in waste stripping requirements. Almost all waste from both pits is placed in the in-pit dumps either above or below natural surface level; only 10 Mbcm is placed above the natural surface level, beyond the high-wall crest within the footprint of the out of pit dump. Although the pit is in a transitional phase, operations will be similar to the preceding period of steady state operation. All haulage will be via the switchback ramps in the advancing face of the terrace designs. Coal haulage will be via the southern corridor to the common crusher location at the washery. Waste haulage will be via a combination of the cross pit haulroads in the high-wall and northern wall to dump levels below surface or the southern corridor to dump levels above surface. During this period the rehabilitation of the out of pit dump continues with most of the western end, including the internal faces that merge with the inpit dumps, and the central area completed. Much of the eastern end of the out of pit dump has been prepared for rehabilitation where possible. During this period the last of the topsoil will be stripped and it will need to be distributed amongst the numerous small temporary stockpiles that will be adjacent the prepared dump faces. The large topsoil stockpile previously created within the footprint of west pit terrace 6 will also need to be recovered and
distributed during this period. An annual summary of the pit development for 2026~2028 is listed below: 2026: West Pit terrace four: RL 160 West Pit terrace five: RL 260 West Pit terrace six: RL 320 East Pit terrace two: RL 140 2027: West Pit terrace four: RL 100 West Pit terrace five: RL 175 West Pit terrace six: RL 320 East Pit terrace two completed East Pit terrace three: RL 240 2028: West Pit terrace four completed West Pit terrace five: RL 110 West Pit terrace six: RL 295 East Pit terrace three: RL 190 By the end of this period 630.9 Mbcm waste has been removed, a total of 121.0 Mt of coal has been uncovered and mined almost all of which has been processed.
FYEM 2029~FYEM 2030 Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-15 Stage plan for FYEM 2029 to FYEM 2030
From 2029 onward the West/East Pit distinction disappears and KBP is operated as a single pit spread out over a strike length of nearly 2 km. A total of 86.0 Mbcm of waste is removed, 16.1 Mt of coal is uncovered and 15.7 Mt of coal is mined during this period. The average strip ratio during this period has dropped from the high of the previous period and is around is 5% higher than the steady state period to 2025 As a result, the coal inventory increases by around 0.5 Mt to around 0.6 Mt by the end of the period. Access to the pit from the natural surface beyond 2028 will be limited and will required the construction and maintenance of ramps within the East Pit and West Pit dumps. Ramps would be constructed in both the West and East Pit dumps for redundancy. During 2029 this ramp system will be relatively straightforward as it will connect in with the lower high-wall haulroad at RL 215, from which the advancing face ramp remaining on both sides of the bridge can be accessed. In 2030 the only effective connection between the face and dump will be a cross-pit ramp excavated in the northern wall of the western void grading up from around RL 10 at the face to RL 200 at the dump.
Coal haulage during this period will typically exit the pit via the ramp in the East Pit dumps, which will feed into the southern corridor and the common crusher location at the washery. Waste haulage is a little simpler than coal haulage as a surfeit of in-pit dump capacity now exists, no waste need be placed above natural surface level and only 22 Mbcm being placed above RL 290 - the upper high-wall haulroad level. Waste haulage can be kept entirely within the pit void. By the end of this period most of the dump rehabilitation is completed, with only the internal active faces of the in-pit dumps and small areas at the eastern end, the western end near the washery dam and the central cutting in the out of pit dump awaiting final treatment. Numerous small temporary topsoil stockpiles will need to be relocated and rehandled during this period. An annual summary of the pit development for 2026~2028 is listed below: 2029: West Pit terrace five completed West Pit terrace six: RL 225 East Pit terrace three: RL 170 2030: One operating area at RL 125 By the end of this period 716.9 Mbcm waste has been removed, and a total of 137.3 Mt of coal has been uncovered and mined.
FYEM 2031~FYEM 2032 Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-16 Stage plan for FYEM 2031 to FYEM 2032
During the final two years of operation the scale of activity reduces significantly as the working room on the bench shrinks and access becomes even more complicated. At the start of 2031, the operating area is approximately 1000 m along strike x 500 m wide, whereas by the end of 2031 this has reduced to around 400 m x 400 m. Access becomes even more problematic in these final two years. In 2031 the only effective connection between pit and the dump face will be a combination of the ramp in the northern wall as described in the period above and a low-wall ramp in the western void from around RL 90 at the face to RL 125 at the dump. This haulroad will be backfilled on a 35m~50m wide horizontal step in the floor between seams 2b and 3 that grades up from east to west. In the final year the only effective access into the pit will be via the backfilled low-wall ramp onto the dump ramps. This will provide access via the switchback ramp in the old West Pit terrace six design down to around RL 25. At this depth the pit floor is approximately 200 m~300 m square and there is no opportunity to continue mining below this level and recover the final 0.3 Mt (and 1.8 Mbcm) of reserves with large scale equipment due to both the limited operating room and the need for ramps steeper than 1:10 gradient. The schedule assumes recovery of these reserves, and in practice some attempt will be made to recover this coal with small scale equipment and extensive use of bulldozers. In total, 763.4 Mbcm of waste has been removed (including the 1.8 Mbcm below RL 25) and 146.5 Mt of coal produced (including the 0.3 Mt below RL 25) have been mined.
By the end of this period the only active dump faces are the lower lifts of the in-pit dumps and most of the other dump areas will have been fully rehabilitated or prepared for topsoiling and revegetating.
After 2032 Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-17 Stage plan for end of mine
Although all mining is complete by the end of FYEM 2032, some earthmoving work remains as described below: the waste dumps will have been progressively rehabilitated, but there will remain some areas that need to be shaped, covered in topsoil and revegetated; buildings such as workshops and offices, and possibly the washery, power station and train loader will need to be dismantled and removed, and the land rehabilitated; haulroads and access road should be ripped and topsoiled; drainage patterns should be partially re-established by breaching the northern dumps in the middle of the block.
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