Solid Energy will become the operator at its Reddale Mine near Reefton from March when a two-year coal production contract with Doug Hood Mining Ltd (DHML), which has successfully operated the mine since it began production in early 2012, ends.
Chief Operating Officer, Tony King, says Solid Energy appreciates the performance of DHML during the contract term. The site has delivered to budget and DHML’s safety record has been excellent, with no lost-time injuries since the start of operations.
The change to Solid Energy operation reflects the company’s intention to extend the life of Reddale Mine, Mr King says.
“Reddale was originally developed as a stop-gap, with an expected mine life of just two years, to provide coal for our customers on the West Coast and the upper South Island while Spring Creek Mine was being redeveloped.
“The coal suits the market so towards the end of 2012 we began investigating whether Reddale could be profitably extended. The successful development of additional reserves means it now has an expected life of at least four more years and with other opencast resources nearby, potentially some years beyond that.”
Current production is about 45,000 tonnes of saleable coal a year. To date, Reddale Mine has delivered 90,000 tonnes of saleable product.
At present, 16 people work at the mine, including one Solid Energy employee. Following the changeover, Solid Energy estimates that the mine will employ 11 people, using a fleet of larger earthmoving equipment.