SEAM & Byerwen Mine

Seam Spatial | Mavis Downs Mine


Every coal mine has unique features that make it a challenge to survey. That’s why access to qualified and experienced surveyors is essential. Only by understanding all the variables in your operation can a surveyor secure accurate data and streamline your processes.

QCoal had invested $1.76 billion in the Byerwen Coal Mine, with a potential yield of up to 10 million tonnes of hard coking per year. They needed a surveying partner who could adapt to the complicated geology of the Bowen Basin to deliver valuable spatial data.


Because of the project’s scale, QCoal was facing skill shortages and issues with labour continuity that could affect its productivity. Byerwen Coal Mine is a significant mining project, with:

Two open-cut pits

Two train-loading facilities

Two handling and preparation plants

Augmented power supply

SEAM Spatial knew that QCoal would need a consistent supply of qualified and experienced surveyors to adapt to the site’s geological difficulties – which included intruded coal seams.

“Our requirements for the Byerwen Open Cut have encompassed everything from site control and registered mine surveyors to all modelling software and critical equipment. We’ve been continually impressed with how responsive SEAM has been to our needs.”
– Peter Hollenbeck, Technical Services Manager at QCoal


With an open-cut survey division of over 20 surveyors and six trainee surveyors, SEAM had the boots-on-the-ground capabilities needed for a project like the Byerwen Coal Mine.

To ensure that the project would meet its goals, SEAM developed a strategy that focused on covering a large site with next to no increase in manning required. This included:

Accessing hard-to-reach areas with GPS and using UAVs to collect the regular data updates needed for intruded coal seams

Introducing a structured trainee development program to ensure better continuity of labour supply

Supplying, maintaining, and continuously improving survey equipment for increased efficiency

Providing daily, weekly and monthly deliverables – as well as yearly submission of statutory plans

The SEAM team also ensured that QCoal would continue to fulfil its statutory requirements, with:

  • Ongoing data acquisition and model updates
  • End-of-month calculations
  • Geological failure monitoring
  • Coal seam and intrusion modelling


Since 2017, SEAM Spatial has been providing reliable surveying services to the Byerwen Mine. During that time, our partnership with QCoal has led to several key achievements, including:

Better reconciliation of mining and coal handling processes through regular and accurate measurement of resources

Improved models and imagery in the technical services department – enabling more efficient planning and reducing  manned LiDAR flights

Introduction of the Trinity VTOL to make larger area jobs more efficient – resulting in less field and office time for processing

“As our operation has grown, SEAM has supported us with increased resources, technology and manning. Their survey team is well regarded within our technical and operational teams and they provide a reliable and comprehensive service.”
– Peter Hollenbeck, Technical Services Manager at QCoal

Searching for a surveying partner who understands the unique challenges of our mining operation? Talk to the experts at SEAM Spatial.