CLIENT
Rio Tinto
YEAR
2009
SCOPE
  • Geotechnical Testing
  • Analysis
  • Section Decline Design

Projects

Kestrel Mine Project

Kestrel Mine, located 40 km north east of Emerald in central Queensland, is an underground operation supplying world markets with up to 4.2 million tonnes of coking and thermal coal per annum. Kestrel Mine Extension involves a relocation of mining activities to better access the underground resource and includes the construction of two mine access points and surface infrastructure. The extension will eventually increase mine production to 5.7 million tonnes of coal a year and extend the life of the mine by 20 years. Douglas Partners provided design for the new transport and conveyor drifts including pit bottom and box cut to provide access to the new workings in the German Creek Seam at an approximate depth of 230 m.

The transport drift is the primary access to the underground mine for personnel and logistics. It is 6 m wide by 4.5 m high and 1870 m long (1670 m from the base of the box cut) at a nominal gradient of 1 in 8. The conveyor drift is 6 m wide by 4.75 m high and 1560 m long (1410 from the base of the box cut) at a nominal gradient of 1 in 6. This drift also provides the secondary means of egress from the mine.
 
Douglas Partners prepared the design for two box cuts and drifts with 4 support classes defined, based on the expected ground conditions, which comprised of very low strength siltstone/mudstone (giving rise to spalling/squeezing ground), medium to high strength sandstone and 9 coal seams. The support design for the drift was based on empirical and numerical methods using finite difference program (FLAC). The design of the Box cut was also carried out using limit equilibrium methods (SLOPE/W).
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