Birchfield Coal Facts
- Birchfield Coal Mines sources its coal from the Rotokohu coal measure in the Giles Creek Valley, Reefton.
- The coal is sub-bituminous low sulphur and has clean burning, heat retaining characteristics making it ideal for enclosed domestic burners and industrial boilers.
- Coal is a fossil fuel; it was formed from the remains of vegetation that grew as long as 400 million years ago.
- The most important element in the plant material is carbon which gives coal most of its energy.
- Coal formation is a continuing process; some of the earth's newest coal is a mere 1 million years old.
- Coal is a rock consisting almost entirely of organic material.
- Coal provides over a third of the world's energy.
- Coal heats our hospital and schools, and supplies the energy to drive industries.
- Coal is a major component in the manufacture of everyday goods, from steel to cement, golf clubs to mountain bikes, water and chemical filters to kidney dialysis machines and even cosmetics, shampoos and toothpaste.
- The mining method used at the Giles Creek mine is open cast.
- This coal seam is relatively close to the surface of the ground and by removing the top soil, the coal deposit is exposed.
- The coal is removed by hydraulic diggers and loaded onto dump trucks where it is taken to a screening plant.
- At the screening plant the coal is sized and washed ready to be sent off site by either road or rail transport.
- After the coal has been extracted the area is levelled and planted in native living forest.
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