Fitzroy Australia Resources is moving full steam ahead with its plans to open a new longwall mine in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, having just completed a bankable feasibility study and advancing the State and Federal approval processes.
Construction is planned to commence in Q1, with first coal from the underground operation in Q1 2020 – subject to final grant of the Mining Lease by the State of Queensland.
Ironbark No. 1, a greenfield site, will share certain infrastructure with neighboring Carborough Downs – a site Fitzroy acquired and saved from closure two years prior- utilising the spare CHPP module for the processing of its coal and railing from the current Carborough Downs train loading facility.
The new site is expected to produce up to 6 million tonnes, run-of-mine, of coking coal per annum; and, once fully operational, will employ more than 350 full-time employees.
In the lead up to the Longwall Conference, Chief Operating Officer, Richard Livingstone-Blevins – who is credited with playing a key role in the turnaround of Carborough Downs – told us that a strong focus on innovation and human resourcing would be key to making the operation a success.
“We are really trying to challenge ourselves in terms of innovation at the moment, looking for the latest and greatest technologies that can make our operations safer and more efficient”, said Richard.
“The success of the operation will largely be driven by a strong human resourcing strategy. We want to take safety and productivity to the next level, making people’s jobs more enjoyable, with less paperwork for everyone. In order to do so, we’ll be looking towards digitizing many of our operations; getting equipment such as underground smart phones and tablets certified and into our work places. This will allow for the full integration of all of our safety and business systems, making them accessible from any place, at any time”.
“We have put an enormous amount of focus into getting our culture right”, he added. “Attracting and retaining the right people is a challenge for the industry, and part of the reason we have been investing in our people and culture at Carborough Downs, ensuring we have the capacity for organic growth”.
“We like to think of ourselves as a people business that mines coal. We believe that it is important to provide our employees with the opportunity to be part of something meaningful, something great, when they come to work. We aim to be the next great Australian mining house, which is not just about returns to shareholders, but also about being a company that people want to be part of; to be part of our tribe ”.
Richard Livingstone-Blevins will provide updates on the progress of Ironbark No. 1 and share further details of Fitzroy Australia Resources operational strategy – which builds upon lessons learned from its Carborough Downs operation – at the Longwall Conference – taking place 30 October – 1 November 2018 in the Hunter Valley.