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[24 NOV 98] RJB MINING PRESS RELEASE
20 Million Investment In State-of-the-art Coal Face
- Order will remove threat to hundreds of jobs

Hundreds of jobs in the mining machinery sector have been saved following a decision by RJB Mining to invest over 20 million in the most high-tech long-life face ever brought into production in the UK.

Five major companies will supply equipment for the first 295-metre long state-of-the-art face planned to produce over 2.5 million tonnes of coal during its 15-month life in the Warwickshire Thick seam at Daw Mill Colliery, Arley, Coventry.

Scores more companies will be involved in sub-contract work and the supply of goods and services.

The equipment will enable Daw Mill's 700 miners to extract all five-metres of the thickest coal seam in Europe before moving on to cut-and-clear millions of tonnes on successor faces in the new southern sector now being prepared to produce coal for many years into the next century.

Says Richard Budge, Chief Executive of RJB Mining, Britain's biggest coal producer:

"This is an investment which confirms our commitment to a long-term future. It will enable us to compete with the world's best for many years to come."

The high-tech spec for equipment now being ordered and built for delivery next year includes:

  • 167 JOY two-leg 850 tonne IFS powered roof supports with RS20 Compak electro-hydraulic control system;
  • a 1,000mm wide 1,400KW (2000hp) JOY face conveyor with 38mm chain, soft start Voith coupling and drives, capable of clearing 2,000 tonnes of coal an hour;
  • a 200KW (270hp) 1,000mm JOY stage-loader with 30mm chain capable of handling 2,000 tonnes an hour;
  • an Eickhoff SL500 electric shearer, the second of its kind for Daw Mill;
  • two Eimco FSV articulated chock transporters with two-way driving facilities, on-board winch and support captivation system;
  • on demand high-pressure electronically controlled longwall powered roof support pumping system to be built by RMI of Durham;
  • four special railborne powered roof support transportation vehicles to be built by the Barnsley-based engineers Qualter Hall.

Says Mr Budge:

"This equipment will enable Daw Mill to operate a fully integrated coal face package to its full potential, provide the muscle needed to competently manage the geological conditions, and further improve the working environment and safety."

Adds Daw Mill colliery manager Keith Williams:

"This investment has given us a major morale boost. We know it will pay off."

Most of the equipment will be supplied from factories in Wigan, Worcester, the Midlands and Yorkshire.

Phil Deakin, Director General of the Rotherham-based Association of British Mining Equipment Manufacturers (ABMEC), said:

"This is a much needed shot in the arm for machinery manufacturers. It should help to save many jobs threatened by the uncertainty which is slowly clearing from the UK coal industry, and boost our export drive."

The UK mining machinery manufacturing sector employs about 8,000 people and exports equipment worth 350 million a year for the extraction of coal, potash and other minerals. ABMEC warned earlier this year that hundreds of jobs were at risk because of a 'lack of confidence' in the industry - confidence which is being restored following the Government's Energy Review White Paper published in October, confirming a bigger role for coal in meeting Britain's energy needs.

Daw Mill is one of 15 collieries operated by RJB Mining, which has its headquarters at Harworth, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
   

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CWN / Business / A-Z / RJB Mining / 24 Nov 98

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