Queensland and coal

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Australia and coal
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Bowen Basin Coal Growth project

Coal export infrastructure

Existing coal export infrastructure

Existing coal export infrastructure in Queensland includes:

  • the Abbot Point Coal Terminal. This is currently being expanded from its current capacity of 25 million tonnes to 50 million tonnes a year. The terminal currently exports coal from the "Newlands, Collinsville and Sonoma mines. In addition, small quantities of coal may be brought north on the coastal rail line from the Goonyella system for export," the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation, a subsidiary of the Ports Corporation states on its website.[1] In April 2011, a subsidiary of the Indian company Adani Enterprises, India's largest coal importer, agreed to pay A$1.83bn ($1.98bn) for a 99-year lease on the terminal.[2] Further expansion plans are being canvassed to increase the coal export capacity to approximately 230 million tonnes a year.[3] The Deputy Chief Executive of North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP), Jeff Stewart-Harris, told the Daily Mercury in May 2011 that the ultimate capacity of the terminal could be 350 million tonnes of coal. [4] See Abbot Point Coal Terminal article for more details).
  • Hay Point Coal Terminal, which is located 38km south of Mackay, is owned and operated by BHP Billiton. The company states on its website that "the terminal has the capacity to handle and despatch around 43-45 million tonnes of coal a year."[7].

Proposed coal export terminals

  • Balaclava Island Coal Terminal is a proposed new export coal terminal which is currently being investigated by Xstrata Coal Queensland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xstrata Coal. Balaclava Island is located approximately 40 kilometres north of Gladstone. In July 2008 Xstrata Coal announced that it would undertake a pre-feasibility study for a coal export port for up to 20 million tonnes of coal per annum.[8]
  • Wiggins Island Coal Terminal is a coal export terminal for the port of Gladstone which has been proposed by Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd, a consortium of 16 coal companies. At the end of September 2010 the consortium announced that eight coal companies had made commitments to export 27 million tonnes of coal which would be sufficient to enable the funding of the first stage of the terminal. The consortium stated that it expected that financing the proposal would be completed early in 2011 and shipments commence in 2014.[9]

Existing coal mines in Queensland

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) mines and infrastructure

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Australia operates the:

BHP Mitsui Coal mines

BHP Mitsui Coal, in which BHP Billiton has an 80% interest and which produces metallurgical and thermal coal which is marketed through BMA, owns:

Peabody Energy Australia mines

Peabody Energy Australia, a subsidiary of Peabody Energy, owns the:

Rio Tinto Coal Australia

Rio Tinto Coal Australia, a wholly own subsidiary of Rio Tinto, operates:

  • the Blair Athol mine (Rio Tinto has a 71 per cent interest in the mine);
  • the Kestrel mine (Rio Tinto has an 80 per cent interest in the mine);
  • the Hail Creek mine (Rio Tinto has an 82 per cent interest in the mine); and
  • the Clermont mine which is currently being developed. (Rio Tinto has a 50.1 per cent interest in the mine).

Xstrata Coal mines

Coal deposits and coal projects in Queensland

BHP-Billiton coal projects

Rio Tinto Coal Australia projects

In its 2009 Annual report Rio Tinto also lists a number of potential coal projects in its coal resource base. These are:[10][11]

  • the Lake Elphinstone coal project; Rio Tinto states that the project has 162 million tonnes of reserves of which 120 million tonnes are indicated and 42 million tonnes are inferred. Rio Tinto has a 82% interest in the project;[10][10]
  • the Mount Robert coal project;[11]
  • the Kestrel Mine West project. Rio Tinto states that the project has 139 million tonnes of reserves of which 106 million tonnes are indicated and 33 million tonnes are inferred. Rio Tinto has a 80% interest in the project;[10][10]
  • the Valeria coal project. Rio Tinto states that the project has 762 million tonnes of reserves of which 698 million tonnes are indicated and 64 million tonnes are inferred. Rio Tinto has a 71.2% interest in the project;[10]
  • the Winchester South coal project. It states that the project, in which it has a 75% interest, has a total resource of 192 million tonnes (of which 17 million tonnes was indicated and 175 million tonnes was inferred). Rio indicated that following a reassessment of the deposit in the 2009 financial year the size of the coal reserves had been upgraded from the previous years estimate of 97 million tonnes.)[10]

Xstrata coal projects

Citizens groups campaigning on coal issues

Articles and resources

References

  1. "Abbot Point", North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation website, accessed November 2010.
  2. Peter Smith & James Fontanella-Kahn, "Adani buys Australian coal port for $1.98bn", Financial Times, May 3, 2011.
  3. North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation, "Abbot Point", North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation, accessed May 2011.
  4. Melissa Grant, "Aust's biggest coal terminal plans"., Daily Mercury, May 10, 2011.
  5. Queensland Bulk Handling, "Reliability"", Queensland Bulk Handling website, accessed November 2010.
  6. North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation, "Hay Point", North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation website, accessed July 2010.
  7. BHP Billiton, "About BMA: Operations", BHP Billiton website, accessed July 2010.
  8. Xstrta Coal, "Xstrata Coal commits to Port Alma pre-feasibility study", Media Release, July 2008.
  9. "Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal achieves major milestone", Media Release, September 30, 2010.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Rio Tinto, 2009 Annual Report: Mineral resources", Rio Tinto, 2010.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rio Tinto, "Rio Tinto Coal Australia Financial Community Presentation", June 2010 – Sydney, page 14.

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

Queensland government resources

Overview of Queensland coal expansion

Other resources on Queensland climate emissions

  • The Climate Group (Australia), "This Week’s Emissions: Queensland", The Climate Group website, accessed August 2010. (This webpage provides an estimate of total greenhouse gas emissions over the previous week and preceding year. It account for nearly all emissions from power generation).

External articles