Chris Nicholas

MEng (Mining), BSc, ADegBus, AdvDip ElecEng, CertIV Frontline Mngt, RIIRIS601D – G3, Electrical Engineer Manager of Underground Coal Mines (NSW), MAusIMM

Chris has over 16 years of experience in the coal and resources industry within Australia. He has held various engineering, technical and business positions specifically in the underground coal industry.

Chris has been involved with multiple greenfield site projects as well as recapitalisation of brownfield underground operations. He has significant operation experience including mine design and planning, systems development, process improvement and budget development. Chris is comfortable interacting with all levels of authority and across a broad range of business issues, constraints and mining challenges. In addition, he is competent in a broad range of software including VentSim, AutoCAD and Deswik.


  • Business Improvement
  • Engineering Optimisation
  • Mine Design Optimisation
  • Mine Scheduling & Planning
  • Mine Strategic Review

Track Record

  • As the Technical Services Manager, Chris led the transition from Miniwall operations to a Bord and Pillar mining system. The change of mining systems provided an extension to mine life and increased recoverable reserves at Chain Valley and Mannering Collieries. This included leading the options evaluation, equipment selection process, mine design, risk management as well as mining systems development and implementation, all of which was on time and on budget.
  • He was also responsible for mine approvals where he led the development of an approvals strategy to support an increase of mine life and revised business model when working at Delta Coal. The strategy was accepted by both internal and external stakeholders and has seen the successful execution and granting of short-term modifications, with long term major projects having been successfully tendered and commenced.
  • As the Chain Valley Colliery Engineering Manager, he was responsible for the transition to Miniwall operations. This included the introduction of the first Chinese manufactured Miniwall into Australia and has subsequently seen production from the mine double in output, with multiple years of production records achieved for the mine.
  • Chris held both Engineering Supervisor and Statutory roles for the greenfield site development of Narrabri Underground. He oversaw the installation of the CHP, Rail Loader, Ventilation Fans, Gas Drainage Plant, Drift conveyor and supported the operational success of the drift drivage including the granting of exemption for the use of non-explosion protected plant and non-permitted explosives. The project delivered a safe and high-quality outcome which continues to facilitate the mines production.