Sunday, 16 November 2008

Pike River Coal Mine

This is a new coal mining development in the Paparoa Ranges about 50 km north-west of Greymouth. Coal will be conveyed to ship by three transport methods:
  1. A coal slurry line from the mine to a processing plant (10 km)
  2. Trucked by road to Ikamatua, a siding on the Stillwater-Ngakawau railway line (22 km).
  3. Railed to Lyttelton Port via the Midland line and Main South Line through Christchurch (265 km).
The underground mine tunnel was recently completed and loading facilities are now being constructed at Ikamatua. Here, the regular Solid Energy coal trains from Ngakawau will be diverted into a balloon loop siding for loading the Pike River coal. The existing trains have 30 wagons of Stockton coal and at the time it has been proposed that these will have another 15 wagons added to them to load the Pike River output. The trains will then continue on their regular schedule to Lyttelton for unloading.

The map shows the location for the loading sidings which are not yet visible on Google Earth. The black line is the road route for coal transport from the mine.

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This map shows the approximate site of the coal processing plant (bottom right) and the mine entrance and tunnel (top left) along with the expected footprint of the mine itself.

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