Bulga Coal is mining the coal reserves from the Bulga and Southern Extension pits. In 2016 Bulga Open Cut commenced mining the East Pit, which mines the shallow coal located under the old Broke Road.
Bulga Coal operates an electric rope shovel, 8 excavators and approximately 50 haul trucks . Mining involves the following general sequence:
- Pre-stripping the topsoil
- Removing the overburden
- Coal mining; and
- Coal transport and processing.
Land preparation ahead of mining involves the construction of appropriate erosion and sediment control structures, clearing of vegetation and stripping and stockpiling of topsoil.
Thin horizons of overburden and interburden (less than two metres thick) and coal are generally ripped by tracked dozers and pushed into heaps for removal. Thicker interburden is drilled and blasted prior to excavation.
Exposed coal is removed using front end loaders or an excavator and hauled by rear dump trucks along in-pit and surface haul roads. Coal is dumped in the run of mine (ROM) coal receival bin near the Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP), or onto a temporary ROM ground stockpile.
ROM coal is broken down to particles of less than 125 millimetres in a crusher, and then washed, screened, rinsed, crushed and dewatered in the CHPP.
The CHPP can produce two streams of product coal; semi-soft coking coal and thermal coal.