Appin Area 9

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BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal (BHPBIC) operates the Bulli Seam Operations (BSO) (Appin and West Cliff Collieries) extracting hard coking coal used for steel production.

Scope of Work

  • Driving the travel & conveyor roadway from West Cliff to Appin West (life of mine roadways).
  • Appin Area 9 Project is about reclaiming already driven roadways in 516 panel with regards to gas drainage pipes, reticulation cables, redundant service pipes and rib/ roof support to allow the life-of mine belt system to be installed in the same roadway.
  • A 3km trunk conveyor system was built and then extended to around 6.5km as production continued.
  • It will be around 7km in length when the project is complete.
  • Driveage includes the travel road from 14-36ct, and the travel & belt roads from 36-51ct (holing point into Appin West).
  • A large water management stub was also driven off 36ct to capture any overflow water in a power loss event.

Challenges Overcome

  • Shunt spooling with shuttle car to accommodate long wheeling roads;
  • Building the initial conveyor system after reclaiming unused roadways;
  • Water management as old workings adjoined the driveage and caused major under floor water make;
  • Inrush mining due to mining next to old workings full of water;
  • STIS hole intersection and outburst potential;
  • High gas content seam with known faulted areas;
  • Surging when driving water management sump;
  • Mining with existing roadways to be converted into return airways and the use of a scrubber on the auxiliary fan;
  • Removal of redundant water management fish tanks and piping;
  • Removal of redundant overcasts and triple stoppings after driving through them;
  • Installation of standard and nonstandard overcasts.

Key Statistics

Division: Underground Mining
Client: BHP Billiton
Location: Wollongong, NSW
Value: Driveage $28.5M, Outbye $18.9M
Start date: January 2013
Finish date: December 2015

Key outcomes:

  • Recovery of 5km of existing roadways;
  • Total roadway metres driven for the year 4335m
  • Best weekly metres 177m•
  • Average driveage 96m per week;
  • Average metres driven per month 412m;
  • Average operating hours per week 70 hrs;
  • Installation of trunk conveyor system currently at 6.5km long;
  • Installation & recovery of standard & non-standard ventilation systems including overcasts, seals, stoppings &
    water management seals;
  • Driving 180m water management sump for power outages;
  • Driving belt underpasses;
  • Installation of 3.5km of gas drainage piping to manage excessive gas make from the Bulli Seam;
  • Mining through STIS hole with high outburst potential;


  • Hazard reports completed 114;
  • Tool Box Talks completed 1,212
  • Take Two’s completed 12,876
  • Management workplace audits 44
  • Behavioural Observations (BASE) 4,974
  • Critical Task Observations completed 716
What we do

  In April 2015,  Mastermyne families and friends came together for a night of celebration to acknowledge the company’s loyal and long serving employees. The black tie event held at The Ocean International in Mackay recognised over 50 employees who have been with Mastermyne for more than 5 years. The 10 year service milestone was […]