May 2024

Underground Coal Case Studies

From feasibility studies and exploration management to geological modelling and resource target generation, our mining engineering professionals are well-equipped with the skills to provide a full multi-disciplinary underground coal consulting service.

CASE STUDY: Longwall Future Domains Study

Xenith was commissioned by a client to investigate conceptual options for the continued operation of an established longwall mining operation. The purpose of the study was to analyse the remaining coal resources at the mine and review prior studies to develop cases based upon two agreed themes.

  1. A modest expansion of both the underground footprint and current longwall domain via a modification of consent
  2. A larger, optimised expansion beyond the current consent boundary via new Development Approvals

Three Life of Mine (LOM) cases were developed considering fundamental underground coal risks such as geology, geotechnical hazards, land ownership, regulatory approvals, coal clearance, ventilation, mine subsidence and infrastructure requirements:

  1. Extending the mine’s existing longwall panels in the current domain provides an additional three panels and requires a modification of consent
  2. Builds upon case 1 with an additional domain
  3. A much larger expansion of 2 with another domain to maximise LOM Coal Reserves and requiring new Development Approvals

The study also reinforced the impact of government policy changes on decarbonisation and management of emissions. A ventilation review considered options to further improve the ventilation and gas drainage through new access drifts and sealing off old mine workings.

The client is currently assessing further work, including approvals and new infrastructure requirements to sustain long-term mining operations.

CASE STUDY: UG Coal Due Diligence Study

Xenith was commissioned by a client to undertake a high-level technical due diligence study of two underground coal mine assets. Xenith has regularly undertaken similar studies of this magnitude and was able to coordinate an experienced team of professionals allowing us to quickly:

  • Break the project into separate work packages across different underground coal mining disciplines
  • Formulate a multi-disciplined team of Xenith in-house specialists supplemented by sub-consultants
  • Review prior reports and identify material recent changes via a site visit and Q&A process
  • Utilise a ‘traffic light review system’ to present the information in a readily understandable format suitable for different stakeholders
  • Develop alternative cases with underpinning assumptions
  • Prepare a structured report in priority order and presentation of key findings to the client for review and feedback
  • Deliver the final report within the prescribed timeframe

The client has subsequently engaged Xenith to undertake ongoing reporting work including regular site visits to monitor performance versus plan over the next six months.


Xenith – Know the way

Get in touch with Xenith. Our dedicated team of engineering professionals delivers real value to clients offering mine site assistance with operations planning, design, and scheduling.