Smarter Mining

We’re finding smarter, safer and more innovative ways to mine in NSW.

We’ve got experts at mines all over NSW using new technology, testing big ideas and bringing in more skilled people in new professions for the future.

That includes mining our high-quality NSW coal that is essential for making steel. And it will be needed for many years for power here at home and countries across Asia, even as renewables are added to energy networks around the world.

Construction

Most buildings, bridges, tunnels and train stations share one thing in common. They’re made using steel that’s produced with high-quality metallurgical coal, mine in NSW.

If you have a ColorBond roof or fence, there’s a good chance it was made with coal mined in southern NSW and made in the Wollongong steel works.

South32’s Dendrobium coal mine, near Wollongong, supplies around 60 percent of the metallurgical coal used by ColorBond maker BlueScope.

Energy

Much of the energy coal mined in NSW is exported to countries in South-East Asia, where it’s used in coal-fired power stations.NSW coal is considered some of the highest quality coal, which is why it is in such strong demand in our region of the world.

Metallurgical coal is also used to create the steel used for renewable energy infrastructure, like wind turbines.

Mining taxes fund our essential services

Every year, mining companies return billions of dollars to the community through taxes and mining royalties. Mining royalties are rising and make up around 3 percent of the NSW Government’s income, making an estimated $13.2 billion for the state over the next four years.

That means there’s more money to deliver important public services, and fund roads, schools, hospitals and emergency services.

High-tech Mining

NSW is leading the world in making mining operations safer, using technologies such as drones for seeding restored mining land, and remotely operated underground vehicles that are controlled from the surface. By introducing and adapting new technologies, we’re future-proofing our mines for the future and continuing to lead the world.

Drones

Safe and sustainable land survey, monitoring and management

Mine restoration requires extensive planning, monitoring and reporting over many years. It starts even before mining is approved and we monitor and manage the land well after mining is complete.

And drone pilots are helping us to tread more lightly, using the latest tech and software for remote aerial seeding of native plants and for monitoring restored land.

One example is mining company Yancoal which works with Dendra Systems and their specially designed drones to seed areas that are difficult to reach by foot and to speed up the seeding process. They also provide extremely accurate and unlimited fast-paced measuring, surveying and maintenance inspections, which are vital to make sure seeds are sprouting and ecosystems are growing in early stages of land restoration.

Surveyors in mining are often also now qualified as drone pilots in NSW, bringing a further technological edge to an important role in our industry.

Smart Data

Experts in analysing information are helping us to come up with a better way of mining smarter, safer and more sustainably.

Mining is a data rich industry. Information is tracked in real time and over longer periods to monitor, manage and constantly improve the way we do things.

One example is the Site Asset Operations Centre at Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations in Orange, where mining operators use large screens and data linked to equipment, systems and machinery running above and below ground.

Live video from across the site is streamed to experts watching and tracking operations simultaneously. They can make changes on the fly or work with business analysts and other experts to drill down into the data and make smart decisions that make mining more efficient and more sustainable.

Remote controlled machinery

World-leading technology here in NSW is improving safety and performance.

We’re always looking for ways to do things smarter and safer. And the team at Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations are leading the way with semi-autonomous remote controlled underground mining vehicles.

On the surface, there are people in high-tech offices with x-box controllers, keyboards and screens to run underground loaders moving ore from mining areas to the processing plant. And it’s all done without people having to be in the vehicles, making those operations less hazardous for everyone.

It’s also happening up the road at CMOC-Northparkes Mines. In 2015, they became the world’s most automated underground mine with 100 per cent automated loaders. The team at Cadia Valley Operations has also integrated a remote-operated water cannon into the fleet of automated equipment, to help make their operations safer. It marks another world first with remote-operated and autonomous equipment from multiple companies being used at a single mine.