BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is celebrating 50 years of operations at Blackwater Mine, marking the milestone with a free community event at Blackwater Crushers Rugby League Fields on Saturday, October 7.
The mine was established by the Utah Development Company, following the discovery of a coal deposit about 20km south of the township of Blackwater in 1962.
The operation was originally made up of the Blackwater and South Blackwater mines, and the first load of coal was railed out in 1967.
Today Blackwater mine is one of the longest open-cut coal mines, by pit strike length, in the Southern hemisphere and produces more than 14 million tonnes annually of high-quality metallurgical and thermal coal for customers in Australia and Asia.
Blackwater Mine general manager Ben Hiatt said the anniversary celebration was a great opportunity to recognise the contribution of everyone who had been involved in Blackwater Mine over the last 50 years.
“BMA and Blackwater Mine has had a long history in the local area, with many of the 1600 people currently associated with Blackwater Mine, living here in the community,” Mr Hiatt said. “We wanted to hold the celebration as a way of acknowledging and thanking our colleagues, as well as the community, for their ongoing support and dedication.”
Key facts about Blackwater Mine:
- Blackwater Mine has produced about 450 million tonnes of coal since operations commenced in 1967 – this is enough coal to make steel for 14,151 Sydney Harbour Bridges.
- Blackwater Mine is one of the longest coal mines in the Southern hemisphere, being close to 80km strike length.
- The mine has a significant machinery presence on site including seven draglines, two Ultra Class size electric rope shovels, 20 haul trucks, 35 bulldozers, two coal excavators and three coal loaders.
- Blackwater Mine produced about 14.7 million tonnes of coal in FY17.