Nippon Steel, Anglo Coal to Strengthen Moranbah North Coking Coal Mining

Nippon Steel announced on Tuesday the firm agreed with Anglo American’s coal unit, Anglo Coal Australia to expand underground mining facilities at Moranbah North coking coal mine for around Australian $ 210. They try to keep annual 4 million tonnes of output through the investment when the mining operation shifts to deeper areas. The new facilities start operation in mid-2009 contributing to stable supply of high grade coking coal market. They strengthen long wall underground mining operation by improving roof support, which is major part of long wall to hold soil. The operation is getting deeper to more than 400 meters from ground compared with current 250 meters. Without the investment, the worse mining condition could decrease the output to annual 3 million tonnes level. They reinforce the facility to cover lower operating condition in order to keep 4 million tonnes operation. The mining operation increases the supporting capacity of roof support to 1,750 tonnes per unit from current 980 tonnes to resist higher ground pressure. The investment can reduce the risk for potential operation trouble along with the productivity. Nippon Steel pays 5% of the investment along with the interest in the mine to keep annual 500,000 tonnes of coking coal procurement. The firm expects the maintaining supply for major source could help stable supply of world coking coal market. Anglo controls 88% of the mine with 4.75% share by Mitsui & Co., 1.25% by Nippon Steel Trading, 0.5% by Shinsho Corporation and 0.5% by JFE Mineral. The joint venture mining started the operation in 1998. The major mine for high grade coking coal can keep operation for 25 years with more than 100 million tonnes of reserve in Queensland, Australia.