New Acland Coal Expansion - Darling Downs Region QLD New Acland Coal Expansion - Darling Downs Region QLD New Acland Coal Expansion - Darling Downs Region QLD New Acland Coal Expansion - Darling Downs Region QLD

New Acland Coal Expansion - Darling Downs Region QLD

Project featuring the RECO TerraPlus® System.

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General Information

The New Acland open cut coal mine is located approximately 150km west of Brisbane in the Darling Downs region of South-east Queensland. In 2002 a 533m², 14m high Reinforced Earth™ Dump Structure was constructed to enable Run of Mine (ROM) coal to be fed from ore bearing mine vehicles into the gravity fed primary crusher.  The dump structure was constructed using the Reinforced Earth™ TerraPlus® system, comprising reinforced concrete facing panels, galvanised steel soil-reinforcing strips and selected backfill.  This dump structure was designed to carry loads from a 280Tonne CAT 789B dump truck over a 25-year life.

In 2006 New Acland Coal Pty Ltd wished to expand the production capability to match the maximum transportable limit for product from the mine site to points of sale and shipment.   It proposed to increase production from 4 Mtpa up to 7.5 Mtpa ROM coal. Appointed consultant and project manager, Sedgman Pty Ltd, was requested to evaluate upgrade options.

Sedgman determined the need to duplicate the existing Reinforced Earth™ structure with an identical one nearby as part of the upgrade. The specifications for the design of the new wall were almost identical to the previous one:  A 503m², 14m high concrete faced panel wall. The Reinforced Earth™ Company was responsible for the design & supply of the retaining wall system while Retaining Solutions were engaged to carry out the installation of the works with full time supervision. After extensive staff inductions and preparation of strict safety procedures, the site works were able to commence.

The works began with significant bulk excavation (approx 15,500m³), removal and stabilisation of an existing embankment to make room for the new wall. On completion of excavation, RECO engaged a geotechnical engineer to assess and certify the exposed foundation to carry the loads from the new structure. Once done, construction of the new wall could then commence.

New Acland Coal Expansion - Darling Downs Region QLD

RECO manufactured facing panels at it’s own precasting facility at Wacol, near Brisbane, some 2 hours drive from the site. The site based RECO presence was able to schedule delivery of materials in line with the progress of site construction activities thus ensuring no delays. Careful traffic management was continually required as construction traffic regularly crossed paths with mining traffic due to the close proximity of day-to-day mining operations, which had to be allowed to continue unhindered.

Retaining Solutions scope included: bulk excavation; installation of unreinforced concrete levelling pad; TerraPlus® panels; REHas; geotextile; connector plates; conditioning cartage, placement, spreading & compaction of imported select backfill. Retaining Solutions also installed the full height gravel encapsulated chimney drain in addition to the impervious HDPE membrane liner required to protect the Reinforced Earth™ Zone. Batter stabilisation and erosion control was carried out using heavy grade geotextile with “Rip Rap” rock protection with concrete dish drains and batter drains at the base of each wing wall. Once the wall was fully installed, the final challenge for RECO was to construct the heavily reinforced concrete dump slab. 

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Project Specs

  • Application - Dump Structure
  • Product - RECO TerraPlus® System
  • Finish - Plain Grey Smooth
  • Area - 523m2
  • Max. Height - 14m
  • Length - 55m
  • Loadings - CAT789N (280 tonnes)
  • Design life - 25 years
  • Owner - New Hope Mining
  • Client - Sedgman Pty Ltd
  • Construction - 4 months

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