Anglo American invests in Aquila safety tech boost

The Aquila coking coal operation at the Capcoal complex in Queensland. Image: Anglo American

Anglo American has injected $240 million into the development of its Aquila coal mine in Queensland to set a new safety standard at the site.

The company has invested nearly $200 million in the area of longwall equipment at Aquila, where six suppliers will deliver a walk-on, walk-off system using two complete longwalls.

It has also spent $20 million in an overland conveyor system and more than $20 million in civil works.

This is set to extend the life of the Aquila mine by six years while continuing to use the associated infrastructure at the Capcoal complex.

Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal chief executive Tyler Mitchelson said the project was on track for first longwall production of quality hard coking coal in early 2022.

“Aquila will be a breakthrough project, designed to set a new standard of safety and performance by leveraging technology and focusing on operational improvements,” he said.

“The mine will showcase our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining, with a remote operating centre on the surface of the mine, proximity detection systems underground to alert machine operators to pedestrians and the continued digitisation of our operations, using new technologies such as our Australian-first intrinsically safe underground electronic tablets.”

Around 500 people are working on surface construction, engineering and underground development at the Aquila project.

Aquila is held in a joint venture between Anglo American (70 per cent) and Mitsui & Co (30 per cent).

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