Baralaba coal mine
|This article is part of the |
Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
The Baralaba coal mine is a surface mine located approximately 5 kilometers north of the township of Baralaba in the lower Bowen Basin region of Central Queensland, Australia. It is owned by Baralaba Coal Company, which is a part of the USA-based private equity investment firm, the AMCI Group.
As of 2023, Baralaba includes an already-operating surface mine (known as Baralaba North) and the proposed Baralaba South greenfield surface mine project, whose operations are currently forecast to start in 2028.
The satellite image below shows the exact location of Baralaba North in Queensland, Australia.
The satellite image below shows the exact location of the proposed Baralaba South in Queensland, Australia.
Baralaba Mine is operated by Golding Contractors and owned by Baralaba Coal, a part of the USA-based AMCI Group.
Baralaba Coal (formerly known as Cockatoo Coal) liquidated in 2015 after Australia's ANZ bank said it would end the company’s $81 million bank guarantee. As a result, the company’s Baralaba North mine was placed in care and maintenance in 2016, with around 75 workers losing their jobs. By 2018, production had once again resumed at Balabra North.
The open-cut operation uses the truck and excavator method to excavate coal. Once mined, the product is transported to the company’s Train Load Out (TLO) Facility, located approximately 2 km east of Moura, where it is then railed to the Port of Gladstone for export to international customers.
Mine Expansion (Baralaba South)
Once coal resources at Baralaba North have been exhausted, Baralaba Coal intends to continue mining by transitioning operations to Baralaba South — effectively extending the life of its coal mining operations in the area by around 20 years.
An initial application for the Baralaba South project was submitted by then-operator, Wonbindi Coal, in 2011. Terms of Reference (TOR) for the project were finalized on 2 April 2013, but ceased to have effect as an EIS for the project was not submitted by this date.
An updated IAS was submitted in 2017, commencing a new TOR application process for the project. The TOR were finalised on 19 July 2017. However, during this same month, Baralaba Coal entered into voluntary administration. Because of this, an extension to the submission period for the draft EIS was granted with a new submission deadline of 19 January 2020.
According to the Queensland Government website, "On 20 January 2020, the proponent submitted an EIS to the department. On 18 February 2020, the department agreed to the proponent’s request for an extension to the department’s EIS decision period until 16 December 2020. This extension should allow the proponent sufficient time to amend the submitted EIS ... Following a decision by the department on the suitability of the submitted EIS, the EIS will be made available for public review and written submissions."
Then, in April 2021, in a move which campaigners believed was an indication that the Baralaba South mine would not be built, the insurance company Liberty Mutual announced it would not be filing an EIS for the proposed mine, thus missing a deadline set by Queensland authorities. Liberty Mutual, which had come under fire from community groups not to back the project, commented: "As part of our investment processes, we’ve been evaluating alternatives for our Baralaba investment for some time and will not be submitting an environmental impact assessment for the South Mine at this stage."
As a result, another extension was filed.
In January 2022, Baralaba Coal was granted an extension to submit a revised EIS in able to allow the mine's new owners, AMCI Group, adequate time to address public concerns around the proposal prior to submission of the EIS. After considering such concerns, Baralaba Coal made the decision to reduce the original footprint and output capacity (5 Mtpa down to 2 Mtpa) of the Baralaba South project in an effort to mitigate potential flooding impacts of its mining activities on the Dawson River floodplain. The company sought and was granted yet another extension for a "significantly improved mine plan and environmental outcome."
As of spring 2023, the Queensland government reports that the project's final terms of reference (ToR) has been issued and Baralaba Coal is preparing the EIS. This amended EIS is now due to be submitted by December 2023.
If approved, Baralaba South Mine will operate in conjunction with Baralaba North Mine until the later runs out of coal. (During this period, the two mines would be permitted to produce a combined total of 6.1 million tonnes of coal per year.) Following the closure of Baralaba North, mining activities would then transition solely to Baralaba South, which is predicted to have an up-to-40-year project life.
- Operator: Golding Contractors
- Owner: Baralaba Coal Company
- Location: 5 km north of Baralaba Township, in the lower Bowen Basin region of Central Queensland, Australia
- GPS Coordinates: -24.13680401, 149.79361246 (exact)
- Status: Operating
- Production: 1.8 Mtpa (2020)
- Total Resource: 166 million tonnes
- Mineable Reserves: 79 million tonnes
- Coal Type: Pulverised injection coal (PCI) (Thermal & Metallurgical)
- Mine Size: 2,214 hectares (Baralaba South)
- Mine Type: Opencast
- Workforce Size: 400 for Baralaba North; 400 for Baralaba South
- Start Year: 2005
- Source of Financing:
Project Expansion Details
- Status: Proposed
- Capacity: +2 Mtpa
- Mineable Reserves: 79 million tonnes (2017)
- Start Year: 2028
- Source of Financing:
Articles and resources
- Projects, Baralaba Coal website, accessed March 2023.
- About Us, Baralaba Coal website, accessed March 2023.
- "Baralaba South Project Update - 27 October 2022", Baralaba Coal website, 26 October 2022.
- Lou Caruana, "ANZ opts to pull out of Cockatoo", Australia's Mining Monthly, 20 October 2015.
- "Interim Financial Report for the Half Year Ended 31 December 2016," "Baralaba Coal Company Limited," 2017.
- "Baralaba North gearing up for production," "Industry Queensland website," accessed June 2020.
- Inga StünznerCentral Queensland faces renewed battle over proposed coal mine on flood plain, News, 16 Dec 2021
- AMCI Takes Control of Baralaba North PCI Mine, Steel Guru, February 1, 2022
- "Baralaba North Mine", Baralaba Coal website, Archived from the original on 18 August 2022, Accessed March 2023.
- Baralaba South Project EA Application - Supporting Information, Queensland Government, October 2019.
- Baralaba South project, Queensland Government website, April 30, 2020.
- Sonali Paul, "Liberty Mutual puts Australian coal project on hold", Reuters, April 30, 2021
- Baralaba South Project, Queensland Government website, accessed March 2023.
- Queensland Government, "Baralaba South project", Queensland Government, 1 August 2019
- Baralaba North Mine, Golding Contractors, accessed January 2022
- Baralaba Coal Company, "Baralaba South Project Initial Advice Statement", page 9, Queensland Government website, 6 February 2017.
- "Baralaba Coal Mine," "Mining Technology," accessed June 2020.
- Baralaba South Project Initial Advice Statement, , accessed June 2020