Specialist low ash coking coal
On the West Coast of the South Island sits the township of Reefton. Close by, in the Garvey Creek Coalfield (part of the Brunner coal measures) is the Echo Mine, an opencast operation, producing a low ash, semi-soft coking coal. Potential underground coal is currently under permit.
The Garvey field is a well-recognised reserve and Echo was purchased by Francis Mining Co Limited in 1998 from Australian miners Coal and Allied. The intent was supply New Zealand’s domestic industrial markets, but Echo coal has become a specialist export, shipped around the globe for the production of silicon metal.
Echo coal specifications:
Low to ultra-low ash
Medium volatile matter
The full coal quality analysis report can be viewed here.
Processed coal from Echo mine is trucked to the nearby Reefton railhead before being railed 260 kilometres (162 miles) to the Port of Lyttelton, on the east coast at Christchurch.