At 8,318,421 metric tons (mt) or 9,159,490 tons, the record is an increase of 9.1% on the previous high of 7,627,644 mt (8,408,038 tons) set in 2007 by fellow Xstrata mine Beltana in New South Wales. Beltana also operated with a Bucyrus EL3000 shearer.
In May 2009, Newlands Northern mine also set a new Australian monthly productivity record of 961,891 mt. The mine further improved on this by extracting 1,016,794 mt in October 2009. The annual production record was achieved despite a longwall move mid year. The mine did a perfect job with mining 8,702,730 mt raw, which equals less than 5% of adjoining rock.
Productivity at the Newlands Northern mine has been steadily increasing in the four years since a new Bucyrus EL3000 shearer was installed in 2006: The 8.3 million mt extracted in 2009 is getting close to double the 4.49 million mt mined in the first year of operation.
The Newlands Northern mine longwall is completely Bucyrus-equipped, with most of the equipment originally being supplied to Newlands Southern mine as early as 1998 but still performing well. The longwall works with an EL3000 shearer with total installed power of 1,590 kW including cutting power of 2 x 650 kW. The shearer is fully automation-capable and works of a Jumbotrack 2000 rackbar haulage system with haulage power of 2 x 125 kW. The longwall is further equipped with 181 two-leg roof supports with a yield load of 913 mt and a working range of 3- to 5-m, automated with Bucyrus’s PM 4 electro-hydraulic control system.
The face conveyor for the 312 m longwall is a Bucyrus PF 5/1342 with a 48 mm x 144/160 combichain and 3 x 855 kW CST drives. The 375 kW PF4/1532 beam stage loader and 400 kW SK11/18 coal crusher are also supplied by Bucyrus.