Queensland Coal production was impacted in late 2017 and early 2018 by challenging roof conditions at Broadmeadow underground mine and geotechnical issues triggered by wet weather at Blackwater open-cut mine. This was partially offset by record
production at five mines, underpinned by improved stripping and truck performance, higher wash-plant throughput from debottlenecking activities and utilisation of latent dragline capacity
at Caval Ridge Mine. Mining operations at Blackwater stabilised during the March 2018 quarter and returned to full capacity during the June 2018 quarter as inventory levels were rebuilt.
At Broadmeadow, progression through the fault zone was completed during the June 2018 quarter.
For BMA, construction has advanced on the US$204 million (100 per cent basis) Caval Ridge Southern Circuit (CRSC) project in the Bowen Basin, which was approved by BHP in March 2017.
The CRSC project includes an 11-kilometre overland conveyor system that will transport coal from Peak Downs Mine to the coal handling preparation plant at the nearby Caval Ridge Mine. The
project is creating up to 400 new construction jobs and will lock in around 200 ongoing operational roles to operate the expanded contract mining fleet and to perform maintenance on the new
infrastructure. It will also enable full utilisation of the 11.5 Mtpa wash plant with ramp-up early in FY2019.