Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Wittall, P, Pike River Coal – Hydraulic Mine Design on New Zealand’s West Coast, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2006: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2006, 155-163.


Pike River Coal Limited is in the process of developing the Pike River Coal Mine in the Paparoa Ranges of New Zealand’s South Island. The mine will be developed to extract a coking coal deposit of the Brunner Seam, some 46 km north-east of Greymouth, using a combination of continuous miners and hydraulic extraction . The mining area is located within Department of Conservation (DOC) land and is adjacent to the escarpment of the Paparoa Range and the Paparoa National Park. As such, the major restriction to planned extraction is protection of: • The western escarpment; • Vertical and sub-vertical rock faces; • Permanent water courses; • Significant vegetation; and • Steep slopes. The mine will use its elevation advantage to hydraulically flume coal from the working faces to the pit bottom area where it will be slurried to approximately 35 % density of solids and pumps down a slurry line to the coal prep plant some 10.5 km down the Pike River Valley. The coal will be sold on the export market as a high quality coking coal for international steel making.