Mt Owen Complex

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New South Wales Find on Google MapsExternal Link project location on Google Maps
Project dates
Oct 1996 - On-going
Contract type
Schedule of rates (Partnering Agreement)
$1.3 billion (at 30 June 2014)
Group Company
Project details

Thiess’ involvement at Mt Owen Mine extends back to 1994 when Thiess built the mine complex. Thiess then assumed responsibility for all mining activities, which continues to this day.

Thiess has operated Mt Owen Mine, their largest coal mining operation in New South Wales, since 1995 under successive contracts. The mine processes up to 15Mtpa of ROM, of which 7.8Mtpa is mined by Thiess from the Mt Owen North Pit.

Mt Owen’s deposit is complex, comprising multiple seams of coal dipping up to 45 degrees, with mined thickness between 0.4 and 11 metres. Thiess also mines to a depth of 270 metres below the surface, with the challenge of minimising truck hours and maintaining ‘mass balance’ on site to ensure enough dump space for the overburden.

To overcome these complexities, the technical team created ‘Dump Planner’ software. This allows the mine planning team to run a range of scenarios and develop a mine plan that increases plant hours and scheduling, and achieves mass balance. In addition, the team has developed industry-leading specialised terrace mining and through-seam blasting techniques, leading to higher reserve recovery.

Thiess’ environmental performance at Mt Owen has been outstanding. In 2012, Thiess launched an industry-first study into the movement of the Spotted Tail (Tiger) quoll, which is helping our team provide sustainable solutions such as artificial habitat structures and feeding sites. In 2009, the team’s rehabilitation efforts were recognised by the Global Restoration Network as one of Australia’s highly commended ecological projects.

ACAA logo The Mt Owen Coal Project was a 1997 Australian Construction Achievement Award (ACAA) finalist. The ACAA is the Australian construction industry's most prestigious accolade.
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