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|Ballarat Goldfields NL is developing an exploration decline at Ballarat East using a Mitsui Miike S-125 roadheader. To-date, 530 in of advance has been achieved at an average rate of 16.1 m/week. Roadheader availability has averaged 94.3 per cent, and pick consumption has averaged 0.016 per m. Ground support has involved pattern rockbolting with split sets, 100 mm thick fibre reinforced shotcrete, and steel sets as required. The slower than expected advance rate has mainly been due to difficult ground conditions. It is expected that a further 970 in of decline will be mechanically excavated before a drill and blast system becomes more economical.|