MATLA HAS THREE MAJOR LoM DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS UNDERWAY. THE PROJECTS WILL ENSURE EXTENDED MINE LIFE BY CREATING ACCESS TO COAL RESOURCES CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE THROUGH EXISTING WORKINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE.
Matla Mine 2 north-west access project area showing surface-to-seam directional drill traces, target and confirmed structures
One of the projects is the north-west access project, which entails the development of an incline from the existing S2 workings up to the S4 Resource area. The S4 area is structurally challenging with multiple sets of igneous intrusives, including cross-cutting sills and dykes identified through aeromagnetic surveys and mining intersections. It is vital that the mine is designed to mitigate risks, to ensure maximum coal extraction and to ensure a safe working environment. A surface-to-seam directional drilling programme was initiated during the reporting year, completing 13 500m of drilling, probing and derisking the mine layout for future mining development. Drilling results successfully outlined dyke intersections, thicknesses and displacements as well as outlining areas of poor ground conditions (burnt or fractured coal). The results were considered during the review of the mine plan, impacting on the access design as well as mine layouts. Surface-to-seam drilling has been used to collect crucial information that will not only be used for mine design but will cater for mine scheduling and production planning. In addition, inclusion of dyke thickness and displacement will allow for more informed decisions during mine scheduling and planning for stonework section deployment. The drilling has proved to be a vital quantitative tool that allows for the identification of various unknown factors well ahead of mining.