Alpha North coal project

From Global Energy Monitor

The Alpha North coal project is the former name of the Galilee Coal Project, operated by Waratah Coal, near Alpha in Queensland, Australia.[1]


Alpha North would lie 100km north west of Alpha in Queensland Australia.[2] The undated image below shows the exact location.

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Coal Mine Background

At present there is no mining in the Galilee Basin. The opening of Adani's Carmichael Coal Project would change this and could mean that a number of the other proposals in the area are also advanced, including Alpha North. The Queensland Resources Council has said the projects other than the Carmichael mine would have a "much easier run" if the rail line was already established and the environmental approvals had been cleared for Carmichael.[3]

In 2018 The Australian Department of Environment and Energy said the Alpha North mine requires an assessment and approval under the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as the mine would likely have an impact on the Great Barrier Reef, rejecting Waratah’s assertion that the mine would not impact on the World Heritage Area.[4]

The Environmental Impact Assessment was agreed for this site in 2013.[5]

In 2008 Watarah Coal was refused permission to construct a coal mine, 500km of railway and port to export coal form Alpha North and Alpha South. The coal company appealed the decision later in the same year. Watarah Coal wanted to construct a new port in the Shoalwater and Corio Bay Ramsar wetlands, an undeveloped part of the Queensland coastline.[6] The area was listed as a wetland of international significance under the Ramsar convention. Watarah Coal lost its judicial review.[7]

Watarah Coal proposed building the Galilee Power project, a new coal fired power station which would burn coal from Alpha North to fuel other extractive projects in central Queensland.

Waratah Coal intends to initially produce 10 million tonnes of coal a year and after several years increase this to 56 mtpa of run-of-mine (ROM) coal, which will be later processed to produce 40 Mtpa of product coal. The coal would be transported via a rail link to a stand alone jetty at Abbot Point Coal Terminal for export.[1] The company is planning to extract coal over a 25 year period.[2]

Project Details

  • Sponsor:
  • Parent Company: Waratah Coal
  • Location: 100km north west of Alpha, Queensland, Australia
  • GPS Coordinates: -22.385333, 146.340917 (exact)
  • Status: Proposed
  • Production Capacity: 10 mtpa increased to 56 mtpa run-of-mine (ROM) coal (40 Mtpa of product coal)[1]
  • Total Resource: 3.48 billion tonnes[1]
  • Mineable Reserves: 1.4 billion tonnes[2]
  • Coal type: Thermal[1]
  • Mine Size: 144,000 hectares[8]
  • Mine Type: Underground and surface mines[1]
  • Start Year: 2030[8]
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Waratah Coal, "North Alpha Coal Project" accessed 17 September 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mining Links, "North Alpha Coal Project" accessed 17 September 2019.
  3. Jemima Burt, "Adani could be 'ice-breaker' for six more proposed Galilee Basin mines, resources body says" ABC News, 11 June 2019.
  4. Environmental Defenders Office, Queensland, "Palmer's Alpha North Coal needs EPBC Act approval: Environment Dept" 22 May 2018.
  5. Engineering and Mining Journal, "Australia Approves EIS for China First Thermal Coal Project"September 2013.
  6. Environmental Law Australia, "Waratah Coal case"accessed 17 September 2019.
  7. EcoLEX, "Waratah Coal Inc v Minister for the Environment Heritage and the Arts"10 December 2008.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Anne Davies, "Clive Palmer's coalmine plan scrutinised over impact on Great Barrier Reef "Guardian website, 22 May 2018.

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