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Conference Paper

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This conference paper was originally published as Eade, P & Wood, J, Longwalling and Its Impact in the Southern Coalfield - Recent BHP Experiences, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2001: Coal Operators' Geotechnology Colloquium, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2001, 85-92.


Illawarra Coal BHP Minerals currently operate five underground coal mines in the Southern Coalfield of New South Wales in Australia. Each mine operates a retreating longwall extraction system as the primary production process. Economic reserves at several of the mines are nearing exhaustion and a feasibility study is under way to maintain production levels by development of a new mine. The level of maturity of the current operations and the nature of the remaining coal reserves in the Southern Coalfield present significant challenges for continued viable longwall mining. A general overview of the challenges and recent BHP experiences in relation to a number of more specific issues are presented in this paper.

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