Premium hard coking coal
The acclaimed Greymouth coalfield has been mined for more than a century. Located 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of Greymouth on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, it’s where Roa Mining Co Limited run the Rajah operation, producing a premium, sought-after hard coking coal.
Rajah coal specifications:
Low sulphur <0.4
Low to medium volatile matter 26 -30
The full coal quality analysis report can be viewed here.
Today’s opencast operation is an extension of earlier Roa opencast and underground operations. Processed coal is stockpiled before being transported from the nearby Stillwater railhead load-out facility. It then travels 190 kilometres (118 miles) through the scenic Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains to the Port of Lyttelton, near Christchurch on the east coast.
The original geological survey for the Roa mining area was undertaken in 1903-04 for the publicly listed Paparoa Coal Company. They mined it from 1907 until New Zealand State Coal Mines took control in 1947. When they abandoned the workings in 1971 due to uneconomic underground conditions, 1.6million tonnes of coal had been extracted.
Francis Mining Company Limited acquired the mining licences in 1988 and began to opencast the reserve. The coal was in demand for blends, trimming sulphur and enhancing coking characteristics.
A decade later an access drive was commenced to intersect the old underground workings, predominantly accessing the coal down dip and lending itself to hydro mining. This drive was completed in 2000 and an underground hydro operation was fully commissioned.
Underground mining ceased in 2016 following the thorough review of coal mining in New Zealand brought about by the tragedy at Pike River mine.
Today, Roa Mining is centred on the opencast Rajah mine.