Coal Age

APR 2019

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10 www.coalage.com April 2019 worldwide news continued and to supply Nova Scotia Power's 600-megawatt Lingan power plant in Cape Breton. The mine has an estimated 481 million tons of reserves. Coal India Annual Output Exceeds 600Mt State-run Coal India's annual produc- tion and sales reached 600 million metric tons (mt) for the first time, driv- en by demand from power producers last month. Output at the world's larg- est coal producer increased to 9.6% to 79.2 million mt in March, its highest monthly volume ever reported, while sales grew 7.8% to 59.6 million mt, the company said. Annual coal out- put reached 607 million mt and sales reached 608 million mt. The company had a target pro- duction of 610 million mt for the fis- cal year, which ended on March 31. Morgan Stanley had estimated the company would produce 594 million mt of the fuel during the year. Coal India has a goal to reach an- nual output of 1 billion mt. It hopes to reach that goal by 2026. Analysts said strong production in March was aided by the growth recov- ery at key units Mahanadi Coalfields and South Eastern Coalfields, which account for half of coal India's volume, as reported by Nikkei Asian Review. Better availability of rakes also increase the offtake, the news source said. Optimum Coal Mine Will Resume Supply to Eskom Optimum Coal Mine is set to supply Eskom with coal again after its busi- ness rescue practitioners secured R1billion ($70 million) in funding to resume operations. Kurt Knoop and Johann Louis Klopper, who were ap- pointed as rescuers in February 2018, told Business Report that they had accepted an offer from an investor. Knoop said the investor would provide funding and post commencement fi- nance to resume operations before the end of the month. He said negotiations between the business rescuers and Es- kom management for coal supply were at an advanced stage and both parties would be signing agreements soon. The developments come as Es- kom battles intermittent power cuts across the country, which have forced the utility to implement stage 4 load shedding to stabilize the grid. The National Union of Minework- ers Highveld regional chairperson Nelson Ratshoshi said the union wel- comed any funding that would revive operations at Optimum. Peabody Releases Learnings From North Goonyella Fire After a comprehensive review of the events surrounding the mine fire at North Goonyella that began in Sep- tember 2018, Peabody Energy has released initial learnings. High gas levels caused the evacuation of per- sonnel during a planned longwall move from the No. 9 North panel to the No. 10 North panel. The company's review concluded that areas of the mine demonstrat- ed both elevated methane levels and elevated elevated carbon monoxide (CO) levels following completion of coal production in the No. 9 North panel. During the longwall move se- quence, a change in gas management focus to reduce elevated methane lev- els in the No. 9 North panel, including changes to the mine's ventilation sys- tem to increase airflow, inadvertently intensified the oxidation of coal that was likely causing elevated CO levels. Despite sustained efforts to man- age the oxidation from the mine sur- face, including use of nitrogen to cre- ate an inert environment within the No. 9 North panel goaf (gob), the oxi- dation accelerated into a spontaneous combustion event that eventually re- sulted in the fire, the company said. "We believe that the beginning of the planned re-ventilation and re-en- try activities warrant a sharing of our initial learnings at this point," said Glenn Kellow, president and CEO, Peabody Energy. "We are taking multi- ple actions to integrate these learnings into our practices at North Goonyella and our other operations, where ap- propriate. The goal here is clear, to reduce the risk of such an event reoc- curring at North Goonyella or any of our other mines in the future." During the incident, elevated CO detected from within the mine indi- cated oxidation of coal. Over a num- ber of weeks, the company worked with industry experts and with the Queensland Mines Inspectorate (QMI) to take extensive steps to treat the ox- idation from the mine surface, but ac- tions were unsuccessful, and a fire oc- curred in late September. Personnel were safely evacuated and there were no injuries. "While this was a highly unusu- al combination of events, Peabody is making changes in systems, processes Changes to the ventilation plan at North Goonyella (above) to remove more methane inadvertently intensifies coal oxidation. (Photo: Peabody Energy)

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