China Stone project

From Global Energy Monitor

The China Stone project is a proposed coal mine project being investigated by Macmines Austasia, a subsidiary of Meijin Energy, to produce 38 million tonnes per annum. The project would be located approximately 230 kilometres southwest of Charters Towers in Queensland's Galillee Basin. The company is owned by the billionaire Yao Junliang.[1]

As of May 2019 it looks like Macmines is not currently pursuing this project. Their offices are not occupied and their phones lines are reported to be down. The company has abandoned its bid for a mining lease. The project could be restarted but some of the permissions would need to be granted a fresh.[2]


The plans for the project include Australia’s first super-critical thermal power station, a three-unit power station that would be capable of producing 1,050 megawatts.[3]

Coal from China Stone would predominantly be exported to China. China Huaneng Fuel, a subsidiary of China Huaneng Group, signed a long-term agreement to purchase up to 30Mtpa of coal from the China Stone project in July 2011.[4]

If operations start Macmines Austasia plans to export coal from Abbot Point Coal Terminal via Adani's planned rail line.[5] The lifetime of the mine is predicted to be 50 years.[6]

The coal project is estimated to require 12,500 megalitres of water a year, which is proposed to be supplied through a new pipeline connecting the Cape River or the Belyando - Suttor River systems to the mine.[4]


The proposed site for the China Stone coal mine is 300 kilometres west of Mackay, in Pentland, Queensland, Australia.[5] The undated image below shows the exact location.[7]

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Coal Mine Background

At present there is no mining in the Galilee Basin. The opening of the Carmichael Coal Project Adani mine would change this and could mean that a number of the other proposals in the area are also advanced.

If Adani's Carmichael Coal Project is constructed the China Stone project is may still go ahead. 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. [8]

The plans were approved in 2018 under strict conditions. Two of the aspects rejected by the The Coordinator-General were 1) to leave two voids unfilled when the mine finishes and 2) to be self-sufficient for electricity. The EIS states that the feasibility of the mine relies on the mine being able to create its own electricity. It is assumed that the coal power station units would be acquired from China. The Coordinator-General demands that the company consider renewable technology or other fuel sources, to power the site. If the electricity was from a coal power station on the site then Carbon Capture and Storage would be required. Macmines also said that refilling the last two voids on the site, covering 30% of the total area, would not be economically feasible, but the planning authority has ruled this out. There remains uncertainty about the viability of the project under these conditions.[4]

The project was originally announced in October 2012 with the first draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was delivered to public consultation in September 2015. The EIS submission earned a request for more information from the Coordinator-General in November 2015 and, three extensions on the deadline for final documentation later, Macmines delivered.[3]

Macmines Austasia acquired the Yarrowmere North coal mining exploration permit (relevant to this site) from the Queensland Government Natural Resources and Mines Department in 2005. Chinese company, Shanxi Meijin Energy Group, acquired 100 percent of Macmines Austasia in 2007.[9]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Macmines Austasia
  • Parent Company: Meijin Group
  • Location: 300 kilometres west of Mackay, Queensland, Australia.
  • GPS Coordinates: -21.166667, 145.750000 (exact)[7]
  • Status: Shelved
  • Production Capacity: 38 Mt/year[6]
  • Total Resource: 10 billion tonnes[7]
  • Minable Reserves: 3.75 billion tonnes[4]
  • Coal type: Thermal
  • Mine Size: 20,000 hectares[5]
  • Mine Type: Surface and underground(longwall)
  • Start Year: 2024[4]
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and resources


  1. Matt Chambers and Sarah-Jane Tasker, "China's biggest coke producer (Meijin) plans coal giant in Galilee Basin", The Australian, June 8, 2011.(Subscription required)
  2. Laura Gartry, ""Mega mine next to Adani quietly put on hold, thousands of promised jobs in doubt"ABC news, 23 May 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Matthew Stevens, "China Stone Coal Mine Rolls Forward and Back on Australian State Go-Ahead", Caixin, 26 November 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 NS Energy "China Stone Coal Project, Queensland"accessed 18 September 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 ABC News"China Stone thermal coal mine gets coordinator-general approval but conservationists unhappy" 24 November 2018.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Macmines Austasia website "Project China Stone"accessed 17 September 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Macmines Austasia website "Tenement Details"accessed 17 September 2019.
  8. Jemima Burt, "Adani could be 'ice-breaker' for six more proposed Galilee Basin mines, resources body says" ABC News, 11 June 2019.
  9. Mining Link, "China Stone", accessed 18 September 2019.

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