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Rising above the flood

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					                              Australia’s Mining Monthly                                   Brief: ER_MENT
                              July, 2008                                                   Page 1 of 5
                              Page: 90
                              Section: General News
                              Region: National Circulation: 8,910
                              Type: Magazines Trade
                              Size: 1,100.66 sq.cms.
                              Published: Monthly




Rising above the flood
As one of the m anies hardest hit by the Queensland floods gets back to full production,
its CEO talks to Australia's Miming Montbly:about the recovery.. By -Christine Feary


    WATER WORKS
  Mine inundated with flood waters              or no real-time information about the likely
  equivalent to five times volume of            severity of the flood, which was completely
  Sydney Harbour.
  One dragline trapped in the floods.           unprecedented," Ensham CEO John Pegler
                                                said.
  Mine almost back to full production.             "The ground was wet from previous rain,
   Damaged dragline walked out.                 reducing absorption and increasing run-off.
  Final cost of the Ensham floods likely in
  hundreds of millions.
                                                Much of the flood rains and spike in river
                                                heights occurred in a period of around 36
              When extreme heavy rains and      hours.
              floods hit Queensland in            "It only took less than a day for the full
               January and February this        impact [of the floods] to be realised:'
               year,   Ensham      Resources'     When an initial extreme weather warning
namesake mine was one of the first and the      was released on January 18, Ensham staff began
hardest hit.                                    walking two of the four draglines in operation at
  Many coal mines in the region were affected   the mine to safety. In the early hours of January
by heavy rainfall and floods but Ensham         19, fast-moving flood waters meant that efforts
suffered a rare convergence of fates. Flood     to walk the Marion 8050 dragline from coal pit
waters came from the Theresa Creek system       B had to be abandoned. Alas, while the big
northwest of Ensham. They came from the         earthmovers have a duck-like gait when moving,
Nogoa River system southwest of Ensham,         they do not swim anywhere nearly as well.
and the Fairbairn dam added its waters too.       "The crew very wisely vacated the dragline
This led to the mine receiving five times the   and shut off power when it was evident that
volume of water found in Sydney Harbour in      flood waters would overwhelm the levee
a short amount of time.                         banks and put people at unacceptable risk;'
  "There was no effective warning and little    Pegler said.




                              Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licensed copy                            Ref: 39045862
                             Australia’s Mining Monthly                                    Brief: ER_MENT
                             July, 2008                                                    Page 2 of 5
                             Page: 90
                             Section: General News
                             Region: National Circulation: 8,910
                             Type: Magazines Trade
                             Size: 1,100.66 sq.cms.
                             Published: Monthly


  The second dragline, a 7000-tonne Bucyrus       new propel motors," Pegler said. "Steering
8750, was moved to safe ground in time to         was provided with the help of bulldozers. Our
beat the floods that inundated conjoined coal     electrical engineers worked out a way of doing
pits CID that evening.                            this without the disabled dragline's own
  After the initial impact, Pegler said           control systems being required to operate the
Ensham's main concern was "with life and          propel motors. Some of the automatic
limb". Employees were put on flood alert and      processes like lubrication of the walk shoe
anyone living in the affected area was            eccentrics had to be done manually instead of
encouraged to return home to secure their         by the dragline's inbuilt control systems."
properties and be with their families.              Despite being trapped in flood water for
  Initially, employees were transported to        close to five months, Pegler said the dragline
and from the mine by helicopter, while            was in reasonably good condition.
alternate road access was developed. Once           `Apart from the tide marks on the
water from the Nogoa River receded, the           superstructure and some obvious damage to
company was able to escort light vehicles into    the cab, which came in contact with the ground
the mine on the haul road while the light         when the soil underneath the front of the
access road was rebuilt.                          dragline was scoured away by flood waters ...
                                                  the overall structural and mechanical condition
                                                  of the machine appeared remarkably good
Alas, while the big                               considering the period of inundation, he said.
                                                    Even so, Pegler said there was significant
earthmovers have a duck-                          work to be done to get the dragline back into
like gait when moving,                            working order.
                                                    "The machine requires a complete overhaul
they do not swim                                  to remove and replace the electric control
anywhere nearly as well.                          systems, DC motors, transformers, winches,
                                                  cab, walk shoes, jewellery [steel cables],
                                                  bearings etc; he said.
  In the aftermath of the floods Ensham's           "While Ensham had the foresight to order
biggest challenge has been draining water         major components with long lead times almost
                                                      ediately after the dragline was flooded,
from the flooded pits, and recovering and         many of the new components have to be
repairing the trapped dragline.                   manufactured overseas and have to be freighted
  "This has involved engineering a range of       to Ensham for the refitting of the machine.
very high volume dewatering solutions,            However, this schedule is being managed very
securing and installing pumps and delivery        closely and we are aiming to have the dragline
systems in the flooded pits, with a target        repaired by the end of 2008"
capacity reaching 2000 megalitres per day;"         Ensham has worked closely with the
Pegler said.                                      Queensland Government since the flood to
  Once the water in pit B had been sufficiently   get the mine back up and running. The
drained to allow access to the dragline, Pegler   gazettal of Prescribed Project status to the
said the superstructure had to be levelled and    flood recovery project has coordinated the
the walking machinery overhauled. Using           many government approvals required to get
cables from a smaller Bucyrus 1260 dragline,      the mine back to full production.
Ensham's engineers helped the damaged                Pegler said that, under Prescribed Project
dragline walk itself out of the pit.              status, Ensham still had to comply with the
  "Ensham's engineers attached high-voltage       statutory and regulatory requirements of each
cables from another dragline enabling [the        approval board. However, the gazettal helped
Marion] dragline to `walk' with the help of




                             Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licensed copy                             Ref: 39045862
                                                 Australia’s Mining Monthly                              Brief: ER_MENT
                                                 July, 2008                                              Page 3 of 5
                                                 Page: 90
                                                 Section: General News
                                                 Region: National Circulation: 8,910
                                                 Type: Magazines Trade
                                                 Size: 1,100.66 sq.cms.
                                                 Published: Monthly


Ensham avoid unnecessary delays to its        remove and replace the                      About 80,000ML of water, about half the
recovery.                                                                              trapped water, has been returned to the river
 Ensham is also working          with the     electric control systems,                under a Temporary Environmental Protection
Queensland Environmental         Protection
Agency to ensure water pumped from the
                                              DC motors, transformers,                 Program overseen by the QEPA. Pegler said it
                                                                                       is expected that some water will not meet the
mine back into the river system meets water   winches, cab, walk shoes,                quality standards put in    place,   and will be
quality standards.
                                              jewellery [steel cables],                stored at the mine for slow controlled release
"The machine requires a
                                              John Pegler
                                                                  -
                                              bearings etc." Ensham CEO
                                                                                       over times of high flow, to protect the interests
                                                                                       of downstream water users.
complete overhaul to




Works to free the damaged dragline from the flood-damaged pit




                                                 Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licensed copy                               Ref: 39045862
                               Australia’s Mining Monthly                                    Brief: ER_MENT
                               July, 2008                                                    Page 4 of 5
                               Page: 90
                               Section: General News
                               Region: National Circulation: 8,910
                               Type: Magazines Trade
                               Size: 1,100.66 sq.cms.
                               Published: Monthly


                                                  company was making efforts to negate the
  While the flood's final cost to Ensham will     effects of similar incidents.
not be known for some time, Pegler said it          "Flood modelling and levee design have
was expected to reach hundreds of millions of     been revised following destruction of the
dollars.                                          existing levees by flood volumes equivalent to
  "The full extent of losses cannot be            five times the volume of Sydney Harbour;" he
quantified until the affected pits are back in    said. "We have also had to repair internal haul
production and the final impact in terms          roads and light vehicle access roads also
of lost production is known;' he said.            destroyed by flood waters.
"Preliminary damage estimates to reinstate          "We are also in close consultation with our
the flooded pits and repair the dragline and      neighbours and local and state government
mine infrastructure are in the order of $300      authorities, and have commissioned expert
million plus loss of coal sales'                  studies into the flood itself to help us and our
  As recovery efforts at the Ensham mine          neighbours better prepare for future extreme
continue, with removal of water and mud           weather events'
from the coal pits ongoing, Pegler said the




            The damaged Ensham dragline finally out of the pit and ready for more repairs.




                               Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licensed copy                             Ref: 39045862
                                                Australia’s Mining Monthly                                    Brief: ER_MENT
                                                July, 2008                                                    Page 5 of 5
                                                Page: 90
                                                Section: General News
                                                Region: National Circulation: 8,910
                                                Type: Magazines Trade
                                                Size: 1,100.66 sq.cms.
                                                Published: Monthly




         Queensland/Bowen Basin in Focus                                                     United
                                                                                          .WResources



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          Rising above the flood
         As:one'af theec rn¢     s iardest                                 stand flaads gets back to full prodution,
         its CEO talks to Austria" 1 liar                g14.,       ';abut the recd  y. By Christine Feary


Ensham's Marion 8050 dragline at the height of the January floods.




                                                Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licensed copy                             Ref: 39045862

				
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