Balaclava Island Coal Terminal

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Australia and coal
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Balaclava Island Coal Terminal was a proposed new export coal terminal which was investigated by Xstrata Coal Queensland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xstrata Coal. Balaclava Island is located approximately 40 kilometres north of Gladstone. The proposal was initially referred to by the company as the "Port Alma Coal Exporting Terminal"[1] but by 2010 had been renamed the Balaclava Island Coal Terminal). [2] Plans for the terminal were officially cancelled in May 2013.[3]

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Project Details

  • Operator: Xstrata Coal Queensland Pty Ltd
  • Annual Capacity (Tonnes): 35 million (proposed)
  • Status: Cancelled


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. The study, the company stated, would be completed by June 30, 2009.[1] By March 2010, the company referred to the proposal for a 35 million tonne per annum coal terminal.[2]

In a March 2010 newsletter the company stated that "in August 2008, XCQ commissioned consultants GHD to conduct environmental impact assessment studies to explore the viability for development of a proposed coal terminal in the vicinity of Port Alma. Following a range of desktop and field investigations, the project team determined that the most suitable location for the proposed coal terminal was on Balaclava Island. Subsequently, the project has been re-named as the Balaclava Island Coal Export Terminal Project."[4]

The company stated that the proposed project included the development of:[5]

  • A new rail spur from the existing North Coast railway line
  • A coal stockyard facility
  • An overland conveyor to safely transport coal from the stockyard to the ship loading facility; and
  • A new ship loading facility on Balaclava Island."

Two weeks after the Glencore-Xstrata merger in early May 2013 it was announced that the company had stopped work on the proposed 35 million tonnes per annum Balaclava Island Coal Terminal. In a statement the company stated that "this decision has been made as a result of the poor current market conditions in the Australian coal industry, excess port capacity in Queensland, specific shipping limitations and concerns about the industry's medium-term outlook.[6] The proposed terminal was one of the export terminals being investigated to cater for the Wandoan coal project.

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