Roa mine

From Global Energy Monitor
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Roa mine is an underground bituminous coal mine located at Roa near Blackball on the West Coast of the South Island. The mine is owned by ROA Mining Company.

This location is approximate only.

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Project Details

Location: Roa near Blackball on the West Coast of the South Island. Roa is 30 km northeast of Greymouth.
Coordinates: -42.35144,171.377853
Coal field: Greymouth
Historical background: In 1907 the Paparoa Coal Company began mining in what is now the Roa mining area. The operation was taken over by the New Zealand State Coal Mines in 1947. Mining ceased in 1971 after 1.6 million tones of coal had been extracted from the two major seams. For the next 30 years there was sporadic interest in the deposits and some opencast mining was carried out until the surface workings exhausted the reserves in 1995. The ROA Mining Company was formed in 2001 and began a significant expansion programme including the opening of new access drives and the construction of a primary wash plant. Roa is the largest privately owned mine on the West Coast.
Current owner: ROA Mining Company, which together with Francis Mining Company, makes up New Zealand Coal & Carbon Ltd (NZCC), New Zealand’s only significant private coal exporter.[1]
Status: Operating
Production capacity: Approx 153,000 tonnes/year
Estimated recoverable reserves:
Mining technique: Roa mine is predominantly an underground mine with a smaller open cut operation. It produces high quality hard coking coal from up to four coal seams. The coal is extracted using board and pillar and hydro monitor techniques, then pumped to the surface in slurry pipelines to the processing plant. Coal is transported by road to Stillwater, then by rail to the Christchurch port of Lyttleton.[2]
Type of coal: Bituminous. High quality hard coking coal.
Solid fuel calorific value (gross) 31.95 MJ/kg (Range for NZ coal 15.25–31.95 MJ/kg)[3]
Market information: In 2006 Solid Energy contracted with Roa Mining to provide transport and shiploading for up to 150,000 tonnes of coal a year from Roa mine. Since 1989 Solid Energy and Roa Mine coal had frequently been blended together for international export.[4] Japan, China and India as well as the South American and European continents are the main markets.[5] Roa coal is used in specialty, foundry and metallurgical coking, as well as in the production of activated and other carbon products.[6]
Environmental and/or health & safety issues: In September 2006 a Roa miner was killed when a tunnel collapsed about 800 m from the entrance of the mine.[7] A 2011 audit, carried out in the aftermath of the Pike River disaster, found that the operation lacked the systematic management practices that would be expected in an organization of that size. The report also emphasized the need for an effective gas monitoring system. National Secretary of the Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union (EPMU), Andrew Little, stated that, “'We need industry wide standards that are properly enforced. The one code of practice we have is not even mandatory.”[8]

Articles and Resources


  1. NZ Coal & Carbon,"Welcome to NZ Coal & Carbon Ltd", website accessed December 2012
  2. NZCC, "Welcome to Roa Mining Company", accessed December 2012
  3. Ministry of Economic Development, "Energy data file 2011", accessed December 2012
  4. Solid Energy, "Roa Mining and Solid Energy sign transport agreement", accessed December 2012
  5. Francis Mining, "Market information", accessed April 2012
  6. NZCC, "Welcome to Roa Mining Company", accessed December 2012
  7. NZ Herald, "Miner killed in tunnel collapse", 8 September 2006
  8. Voxy, "Near enough just not good enough says EPMU", accessed December 2012

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