Leigh Creek Coal Mine, South Australia

In 2011, a nine-month production plan for Terrace 17 at Leigh Creek Coal Mine was at serious risk. Due to the ongoing instability of the slope and compounded by severe floods, there was significant concern that the area was too dangerous to work. Using GroundProbe’s Slope Stability Radar (SSR™), the Leigh Creek Geotechnical Team assessed the risk and defined a nine-month slope monitoring program which resulted in the successful extraction of 2.5 million tonnes of coal. This effectively delivered 95% of the original production plan.

The successful partnership between Leigh Creek Mine and GroundProbe illustrates the benefits of using radar to monitor the condition of slope walls.

“The proven benefits of the SSR™ give us confidence that we are maximising production potential and improving safety on site” said Ben Ploughman, Geotechnical Engineer at Leigh Creek Coal Mine.

“Often large areas of the mine are deemed too dangerous to work. This translates to thousands of tonnes of high quality coal being rendered unrecoverable. With the SSR™ aimed at problem areas, we can immediately monitor wall stability, define the level of risk of excavation works, and therefore maximise production.”

Leigh Creek is a coal mining town in South Australia. Production at the Leigh Creek Coal Mine over the last five years has continued at near record levels, with approximately three million tonnes of coal produced per annum. Slope stability at the site presents an ongoing concern for the Geotechnical Team. Due to its age, ongoing mining and the brittle, unstable nature of its terrain, there is considerable wall instability.

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