Boggabri coal mine
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Australia and coal|
The Boggabri coal mine is an open-cut coal mine operated by Boggabri Coal Pty Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty Ltd. The mine is located 17 km north-east of Boggabri in New South Wales.
The Boggabri mine was granted approval in 1989, and operations commenced in 2006. Idemitsu, its current owner, took full control of the project in 1992. Chugoku Electric Power Australia Resources Pty Ltd acquired 10% of interest in the project in August 2014, in part to ensure that the company’s power plants would have a stable source of fuel. NS Boggabri Pty Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Australia Pty Limited, acquired 10% interest in the mine in 2015.
In 2012 the NSW Government granted approval for the Boggabri Coal Expansion Project to extend the original open-cut mine by 658 ha and increase the rate of production from 5 Mt/year to 8.6 Mt/year. Additionally, it expanded the life of the mine to December 2033. The government also approved the construction of a new Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) and the construction of a 17 km rail spur line and rail load-out facility.
While the mine is approved to produce 8.6 Mt per annum, the total amount of coal mined in 2018 amounted to 6.6 million tonnes of product coal. After it is mined, coal is processed through the on-site coal handling and preparation plant and then transported to the Port of Newcastle for international export.
- Sponsor: Boggabri Coal Pty Ltd
- Parent Company: 80% Idemitsu Australia Resources (through its subsidiary company, Boggabri Coal Pty Ltd), 10% Chugoku Electric Power Australia Resources Pty Ltd, 10% NS Boggabri Pty Limited
- Location: About 17km north-east of Boggabri in the Gunnedah Basin, New South Wales.
- GPS Coordinates: -30.6116182, 150.1550389
- Status: Operating
- Production Capacity: 7 Mtpa
- Total Resource: 145 Mt (measured) 
- Mineable Reserves:
- Coal type: Thermal coal, PCI coal, and semi-soft coking coal
- Mine Size: 2056 hectares
- Mine Type: open cut
- Start Year: 2006
- Source of Financing:
Citizen’s concerned about mine’s impact
The 2012 expansion project brought with it significant citizen backlash. Community members were concerned about that the project would destroy the adjacent Leard State Forest, and animal and plant species within it. The company’s own proposal for the expansion indicated that approximately 1,385 hectares of native vegetation would be impacted, including 624 hectares of Box-Gum Woodland which is listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
In addition, citizens brought up concerns about an inadequate rehabilitation plan, community fragmentation that would disproportionately hurt farmers, decreased air and groundwater quality, impacts to irrigation and the closure of an important access road.
In September 2012, multiple anti-mine actions were taken at Boggabri mine. Two activists climbed to the top of the mine’s coal crushing plant and hung up a banner that read “Stop the coal rush: protect health, water, climate.” Additionally, an 84-year-old man locked himself to the gates of the Boggabi coal mine to protest environmental damage that the mine expansion could cause in the Leard State Forest.
Boggabri has continued to propose modifications to the mine that have drawn community backlash. In 2016, they received approval to add two production bores and four contingency production bores to supply water for use in coal process and mining operations. Several public objections were made by nearby community members expressing concern about how the implementation of bores would impact the water supply for those who lived nearby.
“We are immediate neighbours to the East who rely greatly on underground water for stock and personal use,” wrote Jim Picton in a public submission about the proposed modification on NSW’s Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website. “90 percent of our water usage is from bores and wells and if we were to lose that capacity, our buisness would be become redundant, as we are sheep and cattle producers. … We need guarantees that these bores will not effect the capacity and production of the water supply that already exists.”
Related SourceWatch articles
- MICHAEL O'MEARA, "IDEMITSU TAKES OVER BOGGABRI COAL PROJECT," "Financial Review," January 8, 1992.
- "Chugoku Electric to buy into Australian coal mine," "The Japan Times," August 19, 2014.
- "Announcing Acquisition of 10% Interest in Boggabri Coal Mine," "Nippon Steel website," March 23, 2015.
- "Project Approval: Section 75J of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979," "NSW Government: Department of Planning and Infrastructure," July 18, 2012.
- "Boggabri Coal Mine - Project Approval Modification Environmental Assessment (MOD 4)," "Idemitsu Australia," December 16, 2014.
- "Boggabri Coal Mine 2018 Annual Review," "Boggabri Coal Operations Pty Ltd," March 29, 2018.
- "Boggabri Coal," "Idemitsu website," accessed May 2020.
- "Boggabri Coal: Operational Information and Monitoring," "Idemitsu website," accessed May 2020.
- "Boggabri Coal," "Idemitsu website," accessed June 2020.
- "Boggabri Coal Pty Ltd: Site Water Balance," "Boggabri website," June 2015.
- "Boggabri Coal Mine - Project Approval Modification Environmental Assessment (MOD 5)," "Idemitsu Australia," November 20, 2015.
- "Boggabri Coal Mine Project Application Number: 09_0182," "Maules Creek Community Council Inc," February 7, 2011.
- "HANSEN BAILEY, CONTINUATION OF BOGGABRI COAL MINE: ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT," "BOGGABRI COAL PTY LIMITED," December 2010.
- "ACTIVISTS SCALE COAL-CRUSHING PLANT AT BOGGABRI COAL MINE," "Front Line Action on Coal," September 3, 2012.
- "84-year old locks himself to mine gate in anti-coal protest," "Green Left," September 3, 2012.
- "Submissions: Mod 5 - Borefield & Coal Processing," NSW Government, accessed May 2020.
- "Jim Picton," NSW Government, accessed May 2020.