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Kerry McKenzie, Anna and Trish Ferguson Hellen Manski and Sophie Pezzutti Construction Aboutusgeneric_1 Melissa Power, Emma Hardgreave and Geri Lanko Steve Beale and Chris Dunphy, MIPEC mine Therese Foley and Joanne Truelson csg (L-R)Laura Mahoney, Min Lau and Jill Stephenson (L-R)Garrett Kirk with Kerry and Ken McKenzie (L-R) Isaac Libraries Tech Fest Robotics Challenege organisers Toni Markcrow, Susan Allen, Melody Cole, Katie Dowd, Isaac Regional Councillor Nick Wheeler, Dilki De Silva, Sharani Parr, Jacky Smith and Corinna Baerhold. Aboutusgeneric_2 (L-R)`Dorothy Wilson, Leonie Geary and Sally Pescini (L-R) Lisa Hodge, Rosie Dickens, Gerda Dickfos, Cheryl Gothmann and Bahabie Dickens
Kerry McKenzie, Anna and Trish Ferguson Hellen Manski and Sophie Pezzutti Construction Aboutusgeneric_1 Melissa Power, Emma Hardgreave and Geri Lanko Steve Beale and Chris Dunphy, MIPEC mine Therese Foley and Joanne Truelson csg (L-R)Laura Mahoney, Min Lau and Jill Stephenson (L-R)Garrett Kirk with Kerry and Ken McKenzie (L-R) Isaac Libraries Tech Fest Robotics Challenege organisers Toni Markcrow, Susan Allen, Melody Cole, Katie Dowd, Isaac Regional Councillor Nick Wheeler, Dilki De Silva, Sharani Parr, Jacky Smith and Corinna Baerhold. Aboutusgeneric_2

Delays making mine doubtful
BIG management changes at Blackwater mine, as Chinese machine remains idle.
Wednesday 27 January 2016  

THE future of Cook Colliery - Queensland’s oldest underground coal mine - looks doubtful following major management changes and ongoing problems with a new Chinese longwall.

Caledon Resources confirmed to Shift Miner that CEO Brett Garland has exited the business, along with the Cook Colliery general manager (GM). Shift Miner understands Mr Garland’s departure from the business was not on good terms.

Replacing them is a new CEO Peter Trout who up until recently was GM of Caledon’s gold and copper business PanAust, and respected 30-year coal industry veteran Julian Hoskin who will act as GM.

However both Mr Hoskin and Mr Trout face a herculean task at the mine.

Caledon has spent more than two years trying to expand output from Cook Colliery to meet take-or-pay contracts committed to at the new Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET).

The existing Cook Colliery operation is a board and pillar (continuous mining) operation with an output of 600,000 tonnes per annum, but Caledon wants to expand output to 3.5 million tonnes a year by introducing a longwall mining system into the Argo Seam.

Also, the existing coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) is to be upgraded to increase capacity by 66%, from 300 to 500 tonnes per hour.

However deploying the new Chinese built longwall has proved a technical headache, and for more than 12 months the machine has been on site, but has yet to start working.

Midway through last year Mr Garland told local media they were proud of their achievements at the mine.

"This [Longwaller] is a major investment and as a result, we were not only able to put new equipment into the mine but increase employment up to 330, and there's not too many around that are saying that type of thing," he told local media at the time.

“None of this would have been possible without the Chinese investment through Guangdong Rising Assets Management (GRAM) - the mine, the employment, the whole thing would not have survived without the purchase of the company by Gram and the follow-up investment.

"It is a vote of confidence in the Central Queensland region as a whole, in the people - particularly the people of Blackwater and our workforce."

GRAM, is a Chinese state-owned investment group, who acquired Caledon in August 2011.

In April 2015, Caledon signed a new eleven-year contract with Aurizon that would see an eightfold increase in the volume of coal it exports from its mines in Central Queensland.

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