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Conference Paper

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Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Jakeman, M, Geotechnical Engineering at German Creek - A Historical and Sometimes Hysterical Review, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2001: Coal Operators' Geotechnology Colloquium, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2001, 58-69.


The initial drilling exploration started in what we now know as the Bowen Basin coal region in the 1950’s, to open up and delineate the coal seams for the whole region. After Utah grabbed the easiest and more favorable large sandpits in the early stages, other companies started to understand the opportunities for the future. In 1979, German Creek started construction and operations at the end of the boom and bought four draglines. This paper presents the geotechnical experiences at German Creek over 21 years of operations. Today, the operation sustains one dragline, two underground longwall operations and another underground in the project phase. Life long learning experiences and the need to understand what is happening has sharpened our focus about our mines and operational business risks. The task of digging out a longwall, whilst good for experience and character building, should only be ever done once or twice.

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