Winner – Category 3 NSW CCF Earth Awards 2013
The Ulan West Ventilation Shaft contract was for design and construction of a 4.5m finished diameter, hydrostatically lined, vertical ventilation shaft to a depth of 46m to serve underground coal mine workings at GlencoreXstrata’s Ulan West Operations.

GlencoreXstrata accepted Abergeldie’s proposal that blind boring be adopted as methodology for sinking the shaft, and that welded steel liner segments be used in lieu of the originally proposed segmented concrete liners. The blind boring rig used for the project is owned and operated by Abergeldie, and is one of the largest of its type in the world.

Abergeldie was required to design the shaft, mobilise all machinery and supporting facilities to site, set up and operate the blind bore drilling rig, carry out bulk earthworks for the construction of on-site sedimentation ponds for recycling of the drill process water and to collect drill spoil from the cutting head, arrange fabrication of the steel liner segments for the shaft, install the steel liner segments and weld them together into continuous hydrostatic surface.

Despite some delays in drilling due to unusually difficult ground conditions, the project was successfully completed June 2015. Abergeldie is proud to deliver this significant project for a very valued client.

  • Design and detailed drawings
  • Site establishment – installation, maintenance and removal of environmental controls, amenities, offices and storage areas
  • Installation of site security fencing
  • FRP concrete construction of the reinforced concrete shaft
  • Collar and pre-sink
  • Excavation, support and lining of the shaft
  • Transport, stockpiling and placement of excavated material
  • Dewatering and sealing of water bearing strata – including
  • Providing suitable storage ponds and filtration system
  • Design, supply and install shaft security decking and
  • Removable cover plate

Practical thinking and careful planning resulted in the shaft being successfully delivered on time and on budget with zero safety/environmental incidents and within the specified window of availability of Abergeldie’s blind boring drill rig.

Scope included:

Business unit:



Xstrata Coal

Current status:


Start date:

June 2012

Completion period:

October 2012

Contract type:

Lump sum


$5 million