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Collinsville coal mine hits new milestone

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The Collinsville coal mine has reached its second major milestone, of its first millionth tonne, since reopening earlier this year.

The mine, when it was still an Xstrata operation, closed late last year following poor coal prices and ongoing industrial relations issues, which ended with the mine dumping its contractor and putting the operation on care and maintenance.

After four months of shutdown the mine reopened as a Glencore operation following the merger of the two major miners, in the process taking control away from the former operator Thiess.

Now the mine is celebrating a major milestone as it produces its millionth tonne of saleable coal this month.

It comes after the first milestone in February this year, when Collinsville delivered first coal to port just weeks after reopening.

Since restarting the mine has undergone a number of significant changes, according to Glencore.

This changes include moving to an owner-operator business model, away from a contractor based one; redesigning the mine plan to allow for the introduction of larger equipment to improve productivity; addressing restriction within the mine's CHPP, which will allow it to increase capacity; and introducing what it calls a 'flexible workplace agreement'.

Since restarting the operation has brought its workforce up to 200 employees, recruiting mainly from the local communities, Glencore said.

The mine is now focused on continuing its ramp up, with plans to produce nearly 3.5 million tonnes of saleable coal by the end of 2014.

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