|500 million cubic metres for mine|
|Mine Operators, from left, Trevor Lawrence, Derek Tile and George Doderico were operating Dredger 16 when the mine excavated its 500 millionth cubic metre recently. Mine Operator Graeme Harris, who was also on the machine during the milestone, was unavailable for the photo.|
The milestone was reached at approximately 1600hrs on October 26 with the Mine Operations "A" roster shift crew of Derek Tile, George Doderico, Trevor Lawrence and Graeme Harris operating Dredger 16.
To place the mine's achievement into perspective, 500 million m3 is the equivalent of covering Melbourne's central business district ("Golden Mile") up to a depth of 278 metres and not being able to see the top of Melbourne's tallest structures such as the Rialto and Eureka Towers.
Since excavations began at Loy Yang in 1982, the large numbers speak for themselves with 398 million m3 of coal (or 446 million tonnes of coal) being won. The mine has also excavated 95 million m3 of overburden/interseam by dredgers and seven million m3 removed by auxiliary plant. One cubic metre of coal equates to 1.121 tonnes.
Loy Yang mine now measures 3.2 kilometres from east to west and 2.13 kilometres from north to south. At its deepest point the mine is 180 metres below ground level.
General Manager, Mine Charlie Speirs said he had recently been asked how much the mine had excavated since operations commenced.
"I thought the mine would be close to 500 million m3 and we calculated some daily production figures to get the date right," Charlie said.
Reflecting on the achievement Charlie emphasised the importance of recognising the entire mine production team in their efforts to reach the milestone.
"It's not something the mine focuses on but it is more important (I believe) to focus on the team aspect of moving such a large volume. It's just a milestone as part of the journey in delivering low-cost, highly reliable and quality coal to Loy Yang A and Edison Mission Energy's Loy Yang B plant," he said.
With numbers like this Loy Yang Power's volume stands at the top end of world coal production and shows that the mine is developed and ramped up on that production to keep up with the best in the industry.
The next major milestone is expected to be reached in late 2006 when the 500 millionth tonne will be excavated.