Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Johnston, SN and Kelleher, MJ, ‘Keep the Cream’— Reconciling Coal Recovery at BMA Goonyella Riverside, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2005: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2005, 161-168.


CREAM is an acronym for coal recovery, evaluation, analysis and management and is a business improvement project at BMA’s Goonyella Riverside mine that is focussed on maximising coal recovered. In August 2003, Goonyella Riverside was set a challenge to quantify coal loss and dilution and their relationship to cost, revenue and ultimately profit. While the mine was confident in its site forecasts of recovery (and loss), it was clear that the traditional measurement and analysis systems were inadequate to firstly, identify key loss areas and mechanisms and secondly, successfully quantify the benefit of various coal recovery initiatives. The path that BMA Goonyella Riverside has travelled to maximise coal recovered can be divided into four key steps: 1. Mapping the process – This step involved the development of a coal flow process map for Goonyella Riverside that stepped through each component of the process from the coal reserve to the customer and identified key measurement points for the purposes of reconciliation. 2. Understanding coal loss and identifying opportunities – This step involved conducting two detailed Reserve to Customer projects at the mine site to track a block of coal from the reserve to the customer and to gain a greater understanding of the relationship of dilution, coal loss mechanisms, revenue and costs associated with recovering additional coal. 3. Coal data systems development – Two important coal data systems have been developed and implemented at Goonyella Riverside in the past twelve months, namely Snowden’s Coal Reconcilor and SeamFix. These systems enable coal losses and dilution to be quantified and reconciled back to the initial coal reserve. 4. Implementation of loss reduction initiatives – This step involved the formation of a business improvement project referred to as ‘CREAM’ in August 2004, for the purposes of improving pit coal recovery and maximising business value. To date a series of coal recovery trials have been run in a number of pits at Goonyella Riverside that have yielded significant improvements in business value. The key to the success of this project has been the discipline to follow a defined process map, management commitment through resourcing and shared key performance indicators, a successful acceptance strategy resulting in holistic ownership and the implementation of sustainable reconciliation systems. Coal loss and dilution are now quantifiable and their relationship to cost, revenue and ultimately profit is well understood. This paper discusses the process that Goonyella Riverside has adopted to maximise coal recovered.