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West Coast Mining
West Coast Mining
E-QUIP ENGINEERING LTD
SPECIALIST MANUFACTURERS OF
ALLUVIAL GOLD MINING PLANT
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42 Jacks Road, South Beach, Greymouth 7805 Ph: 03 768 0135 Fax: 03 768 0132 E: email@example.com
Birchfield Coal Mines Ltd’s large coal
storage facility and rail siding upgrade
at Mai Mai is nearing completion and
is a sound indicator of the company’s
expanding coal market.
Birchfield Coal Mines Ltd originally
started mining at Spring Creek in the late
1970’s but has been open cast mining in
Reefton for the past 30 years.
The company employs a staff of 40 and
managing director Gary Birchfield says
the addition of the large coal shelter at
Mai Mai is a positive innovation for the
company’s coal operation.
Birchfield Coal mines an open cast sub
bituminous thermal coal which is clean
burning with low ash and low sulphur and
is suitable for heating industrial boilers.
The upgraded loadout plays an
important role in ensuring the coal
is preserved and protected prior to
distribution. The loadout will be used as
a transition stage for the company’s open
cast coal, destined for rail distribution.
“We are here for the long haul and I’m
very positive about the coal market” said
The loadout upgrade started three years
ago, and has been a staged development
to accommodate all Kiwi Rail’s rolling
stock. The design was done in-house
with the construction of a 300 metre long
by 1.4 metre high reinforced concrete
loading bank built on a slight arc around
a large building.
Building of the new coal storage
shelter began 18
months ago. It is a
out of Christchurch.
It all arrived on
trucks and was then
resurrected on site
at Mai Mai.
“ We have extended
it to increase the
and at present we
are in the process
of making the final
The building has a
storage capacity of
6,000 tonnes, there
are two 9 metre
high by 15 metre
wide sliding doors
at each end of the
building to keep
the coal sheltered
from the elements.
Gary Birchfield and
Karen Birchfield are working directors of
“We have a great team and our staff
show a high standard of workmanship
“We now have a purpose built rail siding
which has been designed and constructed
by locals using a simple system which can
be easily substituted by existing plant.
“We have been fully supported by the
local landowners and community to get
the project going and their support has
The input from skilled locals has
been invaluable in the planning and
construction of the project.
Birchfield Coal Mines trucks the coal
down from the mine to the building
where it is stored and kept dry.
Having the building ensures a large
stockpile of coal at a transport hub in the
best possible condition ready for market.
“ The train arrives mid-morning
delivering the coal wagons into the
siding, we have a four hour window for
“ There are two HLC 18 tonne containers
in each flat top wagon.
“ The train returns and picks up the filled
wagons and returns to Stillwater to link
up with the main line to Christchurch.
It is just one continuous operation from
getting the coal from the mine, into
the shelter and onto the wagons for
distribution to our
the South Island. “
This is just the tip
of the iceberg of the
undertaken by the
family to guarantee a
consistent quality coal
supply for its industrial
Steffan Jamieson is
the mine manager and has overseen
the mine infrastructure and extraction
development which has given the mine
the capacity to go forward in the market.
Mark Wisdom is the company’s quality
control officer and works in sales and
transport while alongside Mark, is
Shane Ward the company’s combustion
specialist, who provides Birchfield Coal
customers with technical support.
Birchfield Coal has a structured
operation in place for the guaranteed
supply of quality coal to the New Zealand
domestic market as it builds toward the
Progressive upgrade at Birchfield’s Coal Mine Ltd
Kaiata Yard Ph 768 7439
(All sizes of household coal available from
our Kaiata Yard)
Reefton Mine ph 732 8360
“We are here for the
long haul, and I’m
very positve about
the coal market”
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