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Pike River Tunnel Tracking To Intersect Coal Seam

19 May 2008

Pike River Tunnel Tracking To Intersect Coal Seam

Pike River Coal Limited (Pike River) advises that excavation of the tunnel to access the underground premium hard coking coal deposit recommenced on 19 May 2008. The advance of the main tunnel had been undertaken in parallel with pit-bottom development since 18 December 2007. On 11 April 2008 the tunnel halted to allow the last of the 471 metres of pit-bottom roadways to be completed as well as considerable concrete works and other infrastructure activities to be undertaken. Over 300 cubic metres of structural concrete has been poured in the pit-bottom area to provide floors and walls for the water and coal sumps as well as foundations for pump and electrical installations. Additionally over 850 cubic metres of sprayed-on shotcrete has been applied to the pit-bottom drivages to ensure the long term stability of those openings. Other works completed in the tunnel during this period have included the installation of the mine’s high voltage power supply cables, installation of gas monitoring and communications cabling, installation of brackets to carry the slurry pipeline, and installation of the transformers to supply the pumping systems located at pit-bottom.

In other project activities the coal preparation plant (CPP) is now 90% complete with all of the major equipment installed in the plant and the stack-out conveyors in place for both coal and reject material. Work has also been well progressed on the mine workers bathhouse facilities which are nearing completion; the installation of the return water line from the CPP to the mine; and recruitment of operational personnel for the mine and CPP.

The tunnel is on track to intersect the Hawera fault located at approximately 2,100 metres later this month and to intersect the coal seam at approximately 2,300 metres in July 2008. With the roadheader ready to be put into service as required on the western side of the Hawera fault, training of tradesmen and operators on site has been completed.

Chief Executive Gordon Ward said “We have completed the scheduled eastern area pit-bottom works on time and are on track for another important milestone being driveage of the tunnel through the Hawera fault in May 2008”.


ends

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