The Spur Hill Underground Coking Coal Project is located in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales. The relevant tenement is NSW Exploration Licence (EL) 7429. The boundary of the Tenement is approximately 3 kilometres (km) east of Denman and 15 km south-west of Muswellbrook.
Spur Hill Underground is within the Upper Hunter Valley coal corridor which contains a number of operating coal mines and development projects.
The Project is exclusively an underground longwall mining operation. The Project does not include any open cut mining. An underground mine:
- Minimises the effect on visual amenity and the landscape in comparison to an open cut mine;
- Leaves no final hole or void at the end of the project;
- Avoids the widespread noise emissions and impacts commonly associated with an open cut mine;
- Similarly avoids the widespread air quality and dust concerns associated with an open cut mine (e.g. from open cut blasting);
- Does not involve the large scale blasting and removal and dumping of overburden required at open cut mines; and
- Does not consume and alter the large areas of land that an open cut mine covers - existing agricultural and other commercial activities above and surrounding an underground mine can continue to operate when an underground mine is developed.
As owners of the Merton Vineyard, Spur Hill Management has undertaken significant improvements in the vineyard and structural upgrades of the winery aimed at returning the vines to full productivity, including grafting new grape varietis on existing root stock. The vineyard will continue to operate as mining proceeds beneath it.
Spur Hill Underground has total JORC Mineral Resources of 626Mt (100% basis), comprising two distinct resource blocks. The Western Zone contains 514Mt of Resources, including 394Mt of Indicated Mineral Resources, and covers the majority of the Tenement; this resource is between 60 to 590m deep and demonstrates characteristics favourable to longwall mining. The Eastern Zone contains 112Mt of Inferred Mineral Resource; it is located on the eastern flank of the Tenement and is between 20 to 320m below the surface. Spur Hill will only be applying for a Mining Lease for the Western Zone.
|Area||Indicated Mineral Resource (Mt)||Inferred Mineral Resource (Mt)||Total Mineral Resource (Mt)|
Malabar Coal released the maiden Reserve Statement for the Spur Hill Underground Coking Coal Project to the ASX on 11 November 2013. The Probable Reserves Estimate for the Project of 91Mt is based on the Whynot and Bowfield seams which are two of the initial seams targeted for mining. As further field-work and studies are undertaken, more Resources are expected to be converted into Reserves so underpinning the Project beyond 20 years.
|Western (Underground) Zone|
Coal Reserve (Mt)
|Probable Marketable |
Coal Reserve (Mt)
Current Work Program and Timing
Spur Hill is currently focused on continuing environmental and engineering studies.