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Anglo American is continuing work towards restarting longwall mining at Grosvenor by the end of the year, with the first development coal washed in September.

The company provided an update in its latest quarterly report, saying the development activities continued as part of the mine’s staged approach to restarting longwall operations, subject to the approval of the Queensland Mines Inspectorate.

Production from the Bowen Basin mine ceased last year in the wake of a gas explosion on May 6, 2020, in which five coal mine workers were seriously injured.

The incident sparked the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry into a string of methane exceedances at underground coal mines in the Bowen Basin.

The re-entry process kicked off in April after a program of work that included permanently sealing the impacted area of the mine with five large, concrete seals and installing additional gas monitoring infrastructure.

In its quarterly report, Anglo American stated that the year-to-date average realised price for hard coking coal from its Bowen Basin mines was $149/tonne.

This was lower than the benchmark price of $177/tonne as sales had consisted of a lower proportion of premium quality hard coking coal from Moranbah and Grosvenor, it said.

Export metallurgical coal production across its sites decreased by 11 per cent to about 4.3 million tonnes last quarter compared to the same time last year due to operations at Moranbah being impacted by challenging geological conditions, the company said.

This was partly offset by Dawson and Capcoal increasing production levels after having scaled back production volumes since mid-2020 in response to reduced demand for their particular products.

Production guidance for the full year across Anglo’s metallurgical coal operations remains unchanged at 14–16 million tonnes, subject to COVID-19 related disruption.