Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

George Klenowski and Phil McNamara, Development of support systems for longwall mining in the Bowen Basin, Central Queensland, Proceedings of the 2020 Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong - Mining Engineering, 12-14 February 2020, University of Wollongong, 175-185.


The first longwall mine in Queensland was Central Colliery, located at the German Creek Mines. Production commenced in 1985 and shortly afterwards it broke the world record for longwall coal production. At that time longwall mining was generally not considered viable in Queensland due to technical problems associated with weak coal and excessive gas and water. Engineering solutions were developed and included properly designed chain pillars, in-seam methane drainage and efficient, dewatering pumping systems (Klenowski 2000; Klenowski and Winter, 2017). Following success at Central Colliery longwall mining commenced at the Oaky No.1 Underground Mine and Southern Colliery. This was followed by Gordonstone, North Goonyella and the Moranbah North Mines. Longwall mining is now accepted as the most efficient extraction method in Queensland coal mining with rapidly increasing annual production rates to 10 million tonnes from one longwall at the Grasstree Mine.