In response to the prolonged downturn in international coal markets, Centennial continues to review its business strategy in order to optimise and adapt its operations to prevailing economics and so maintain its unique position of strength within the Australian Coal Industry.
As a result, and following consultation with the Angus Place Mine (Angus Place) workforce, a decision has been made to restructure the Group’s Western Region and place Angus Place on ‘care and maintenance’ from November 2014. Angus Place is located at Lithgow in the Western Coalfields and is adjacent to the neighbouring Springvale Mine, Mt Piper and Wallerawang power stations. As operator, Centennial has proposed a proportion of the Angus Place workforce would be relocated to Springvale, where the plan would be to ‘ramp-up’ Springvale - increasing production, improving productivity and reducing costs, while also seeking to minimise the number of redundancies. This is awaiting formal Joint Venture approval.
In order to achieve this, the Angus Place longwall and two development crews and equipment would need to be redeployed to Springvale. The transfer of the Angus Place longwall and development crews will result in increased production, and accordingly, no loss of production during the traditional five week longwall changeover periods usually experienced every 7-8 months at Springvale. In effect, a second longwall will deliver continuous longwall coal from Springvale.
This has been an extremely difficult decision, with Centennial (and its Joint Venture partner – see Note below) committed to diligently working through a process that will sensitively support those impacted. Unfortunately, the decision is essential if the Joint Venture is to sustain its competitiveness following the reduction in domestic coal demand in the Western Region as a result of the suspension of operations at Wallerawang Power Station, and lower export prices flowing from the currently over-supplied export thermal coal market.
Both Springvale and Angus Place are in the process of renewing State planning approvals, with consents anticipated in 2015. These consents will secure significant long-term coal resources in close geographic proximity to local power stations, thereby extending the life of the combined resource and confirming Centennial’s long-term commitment to both the region and the domestic market, while also enabling Centennial to recommence mining at Angus Place when market conditions improve.
Angus Place currently employs 268 people. It is expected that approximately 100 members of the existing Angus Place workforce would be redeployed to Centennial’s Clarence mine and Springvale under the proposed expansion.
While on ‘care & maintenance’, Angus Place will continue to meet safety and environmental regulations and the site will be appropriately maintained to enable a reopening when the Springvale reserves are exhausted (in 2023) or earlier if market conditions improve.
28 October 2014
Centennial Coal: Centennial is a coal mining and marketing company supplying thermal coal to the domestic and export markets. Fuelling around 40% of NSW’s coal-fired electricity generating capacity, Centennial is a wholly owned subsidiary of Banpu Public Company Limited (Banpu) and, as part of Banpu, a member of the largest independent pan-Asian coal group.
Centennial has approximately 1,700 employees and six operating coal mines in NSW, making it one of the largest underground coal producers in NSW.
Angus Place: Operating for over 30 years (established in 1979), Angus Place is an underground coal mine located 20 km northwest of Lithgow. Using longwall mining methods, Angus Place produces up to 4 million tonnes of coal annually for the local power stations. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days per week, the operation is supported by a workforce of 268 fulltime employees.
Springvale: Operating since 1995, Springvale is an underground coal mine located 15 km northwest of Lithgow. Using longwall mining methods, Springvale produces up to 4.5 million tonnes of coal annually for the local power stations and export markets. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days per week, the operation is supported by a workforce of 261 full time employees.
Note: Angus Place and Springvale mines are operated by Centennial under a joint venture arrangement whereby each of Centennial and Springvale SK Kores Pty Ltd hold a 50% interest in the Joint Venture (the ‘Springvale/Angus Place Joint Venture’).
For further information contact:
Katie Brassil, - General Manager External Affairs on 0419 356 690