Olive Downs North mine

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{{#Badges: CoalSwarm}}Olive Downs North mine is a metallurgical coal project proposed by Pembroke Resources.[1] The project is located 30 km south of Coppabella, Queensland, Australia.


The coal mine is planned for the Issac Region in the state of Queensland, Australia.[1] The map below shows the approximate location.

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Coal Mine Background

The company states that the mine would produce "metallurgical coal, delivering high quality coking coal and PCI products to key markets including Japan, South Korea, China and India."[1] If the mine goes ahead coal will be transported to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.[1]

Olive Downs was approved by the state's independent coordinator-general on the 14 May 2019.[2]

The project was sold by Peabody Energy in 2016. The coking coal tenements were sold for $104 million and included royalty streams. Macarthur Coal the original company proposing to mine the area were bought by Peabody Energy in 2012 for close to $US5 billion.[3]

In its 2008 Annual Report, Macarthur Coal stated that "following granting of the ML [mining licence] it is anticipated that mining will begin in late 2009".[4]

Project Details

  • Sponsor:
  • Parent Company: 100% owned by Pembroke Resources[1]
  • Location: The project is located 30 km south of Coppabella, Queensland, Australia.
  • GPS Coordinates: -22.2204628, 148.4033203 (approximate)
  • Status: Proposed
  • Production Capacity: Expanding to 15 Mtpa[1]
  • Total Resource: 813Mt surface mine resources[1]
  • Mineable Reserves: 514Mt[1]
  • Coal type: Metallurgical[1]
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: Surface mine
  • Start Year: 2020
  • Source of Financing:

As of September 2019 the mine is awaiting Federal Government permission, which is the last hurdle.[2]

Ecological and social impacts

If the mine goes ahead about 55 square kilometres of koala habitat will be cleared, with the Coordinator-General recommending an offset to protect the vulnerable species. The mine site, considered one of Australia's biggest, also includes the land where there are currently 11 highly significant wetlands. During the state's required public consultation process, not one environmental group made a submission.[2]

After 79 years the mine would be restored. In the plans three final voids, deep holes where coal and the rock lying over it has been removed, would be left. The voids would cover around 10 per cent of the project site.[2]

Lock the Gate campaigner Rick Humphries said: "When you have large unrehabilitated voids left at the end of a mine's life on flood plains the chances of flooding are very high risk.[2]

Mr Humphries said the approval contradicted changes to legislation in 2017 that sought to ban leaving voids on floodplains. The Coordinator-General's evaluation report said Olive Downs had "transitional provisions" because it had applied for an Environmental Authority prior to the legislative changes.[2]

In 2018 an agreement was made between the indigenous owners of the land and Pembroke Resources. The Indigenous Land Use Agreement over the land is subject to providing economic opportunities to the first nations people and the protection of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.[5]

Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC holds native title on trust for the Barada Barna People. In 2016, the Barada Barna People achieved their determination of native title over some 3,233 square kilometres of land and waters south-west of Mackay and north-west of Rockhampton in the Bowen Basin.[5]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Pembroke Resources, "Olive Downs Coking Coal Complex", accessed 13 August 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 ABC news, "Pembroke Resources Olive Downs mine approval may impact koala habitat the size of Sydney Harbour", 15 May 2019.
  3. The Sydney Morning Herald, "Peabody sells Australian coal acreage", 10 May 2016.
  4. Macarthur Coal, Annual Report 2008, Macarthur Coal website, accessed August 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation and Pembroke Coal, "Press Release: Pembroke Resources and Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC sign Key Native Title Agreement for the Olive Downs Coking Coal Project", 13 June 2018.

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