Peabody Energy announced a new licensing agreement with Yanzhou Coal Mining Company for the installation of its Longwall Top Coal Caving technology to enhance recovery of metallurgical coal at Peabody's North Goonyella Mine in the Bowen Basin, Queensland, Australia. Yanzhou is a subsidiary of Yankuang Group Co Ltd.
Peabody estimates the new technology will allow the recovery of up to 3.9 million tonnes of additional high quality hard coking coal from the mine, with opportunities for future use in other areas. LTCC technology improves the recoverability of coal over traditional longwall mining methods, and will allow the operation to mine the full coal seam thickness of 6.5 meters versus the conventional longwall mining method of 4.2 meters.
According to Mr Eric Ford executive vice president and COO of Peabody Energy said that "Our agreement will lead to greater resource recovery, enhanced productivity and extended mine life. It also advances another avenue in our growing Chinese collaboration."
Peabody is the first company to sign a LTCC licensing agreement with Yanzhou. The equipment is expected to be placed into service in late 2012. Peabody will work with Yanzhou to ensure the mine's workforce is fully trained and equipped to begin LTCC operations in the first quarter of 2013. Peabody's North Goonyella Mine shipped 2.5 million tons of high quality hard coking coal to steel producing customers in 2010.