Blackwater mine

From Global Energy Monitor

The Blackwater mine is an open cut coal mine which produces over 14 million tonnes of coking coal a year. BHP Billiton describes it as "one of the largest open-cut coal mines in Australia". The mine is located 24km south of the town of Blackwater in the Bowen Basin and 315km west of the port of Gladstone, Queensland.[1]

The mine is owned and operated by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), a 50:50 joint venture between BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Development. BMA also operates the Peak Downs mine, Saraji mine, Norwich Park mine, Goonyella Riverside mine, Broadmeadow, and the Gregory Crinum mine as well as the Hay Point Coal Terminal.[2]


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Blackwater mine was established by the Utah Development Company in 1962, with the first load of coal shipped out in 1967.[3]

In 2001, BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd partnered to become the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and share equal ownership and management of seven Central Queensland coal mines: Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Peak Downs, Saraji, Norwich Park, Gregory Crinum and Blackwater. BMA is Australia's largest coal miner and exporter.[2]

Today Blackwater mine is one of the longest open-cut coal mines in the Southern hemisphere and exports more than 14 million tonnes of coal annually to consumers in Australia and Asia.[3]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: B.M Alliance Coal Operations Pty Ltd[4]
  • Parent Company: BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, which is owned by BHP Billiton Ltd (50%) and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd. (50%)[5]
  • Location: Located 24 kilometres south of Blackwater and 315 kilometres from the port at Gladstone in the Bowen Basin in Queensland.[6]
  • GPS Coordinates: -23.771393,148.855729 (exact)
  • Status: Operating[7]
  • Production Capacity: 14 Mtpa[4]
  • Total Resource: 506 million tonnes[7]
  • Mineable Reserves: 375 million tonnes[7]
  • Coal type: Medium volatile hard coking coal, medium volatile weak coking coal and medium volatile thermal coal[4]
  • Mine Size: 21,000 square hectares[8]
  • Mine Type: open cut[6]
  • Start Year: 1967[6]
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and resources


  1. BHP Billiton, "About BMA", BHP Billiton website, accessed June 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance to acquire The New Saraji Coal Project",, 18 July 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Big birthday bash for Blackwater coal mine", Industry Queensland, 5 October 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Bowen Basin - Operating Coal Mines: Blackwater", Mining Communities Research Exchange, accessed December 2019
  5. "Blackwater Mine", Mining Data Solutions, accessed May 2020.
  6. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "BHP Annual Report 2019", BHP Website, September 2019
  7. "Asset Report: Blackwater coal mine", Wood Mackenzie, accessed May 2020.

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External resources

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