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Service Awards

Peter Newling

Peter Newling


Peter started working in the Mining Industry in particular the Coal Processing Industry in 1981 after having previously worked in the steel making industry at Newcastle and South Africa following his graduation from Newcastle University as a Chemical Engineer.

He entered the industry in 1981 at Hunter Valley Coal Preparation Plant as the Prep Plant Superintendent, as the plant was being constructed and he subsequently moved into the operational role.

In 1989, Peter left Hunter Valley Coal Preparation Plant to take up the role of Manager at Wollondilly Coal Preparation Plant through to 1995, he was then appointed as Manager of the new coal preparation plant at Stratford, this position he held until 1998.

1998 saw Peter at Catherine Hill Coal Preparation Plant again as Manager through to its closure in 2002. With the closure of this plant Peter began his Consultancy Business.

Through his consultancy Peter has worked in South Africa, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, New Zealand, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.

His association with ACARP, the Industry research organization has been ongoing - initially as an industry representative and now as a research coordinator. This current role gives him a wide ranging responsibility to introduce technical reports produced into the industry by way of personal contact with operations personnel through seminars and plant visits.

He has been involved with most sections of the industry, representing many mining houses involved in the design, management, process auditing, and equipment selection in new and operating coal processing plants he has accepted the challenges that both the old and the new plants bring, with a common goal of maximizing the resource by ensuring that the process efficiencies of the preparation plants addresses world class techniques, equipment and practices, by their process design, layout and maintainability, along with being the ACARP Research Coordinator for Coal Preparation throughout Australia and an active participant with The Australian Coal Preparation Society including being a NSW Branch Chairman.

Peter’s contribution to the industry has been ongoing and his focus has always been on efficiency, maintainability, and operability of coal processing plants. I will highlight some of his achievements by mentioning the following;

  • Better use of improved wear materials, by improving the wear ability of water washing cyclones by researching the use of high quality ceramics - the type of ceramics that are used in prosthesis into the water washing cyclones highest wear component the spigot, and successfully managing its use.
  • Improving the reliability of plant items by introducing use of lever link motor mounts on the Decanter Centrifuges to overcome the chronic problem that they had by constantly throwing the drive vee belts.
  • Introduced the Teeter Bed as a piece of equipment into the industry that improved the recovery of ultra-fine coal. 
  • Introduced reporting systems that allowed management to better review the plants performance.
  • Managed complex industrial issues within the industry as it has changed from a multi union based labour force with fixed roles to a flexible multi skilled single union work force during his time in the industry. 
  • Successful management of the maritime unions and their severe industrial relations in his role as manager of the colliery vessel operating to and from Newcastle!

Peter’s view of successfully running a coal preparation plant has had a common theme, “you can have the best plant in the world, but it’s all about looking after the people and the politics” he has been proactive in utilizing whatever resources he could to train and inform the plant operators in the science of coal preparation so that they can make the decisions on how best to operate their plant, and he has used the Coal Preparation Society and ACARP to assist in this role.

Ultimately it’s the little people that determine the success of failure of an operation, and in this field of work Peter has excelled with his unique brand of people skills.