Gregory Crinum mine

From Global Energy Monitor

The Gregory Crinum mine comprises the Gregory open-cut operations and the Crinum underground mine.[1] The mine was put on care and maintenance in 2016 by previous owner and joint venture BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA).[2] When Sojitz Corporation acquired the mine in 2019, they announced plans to reopen the mine. It is unclear if the mine has yet reopened.[3]


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Mining began at Gregory Crinum in 1979, with open-cut operations at Gregory becoming operational in 1979 and the first shipment taking place in 1980. Underground mining began at the adjacent Crinum in 1997.[4]

The BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) commenced operations on 1 July 2001, after the 50-50 joint venture between BHP Billiton Limited and Mitsubishi Development was finalized.[5] Throughout much of its time of operation under BMA, the mine’s production capacity was 6 million tonnes per year.[2]

BMA also operates the Peak Downs mine, Saraji mine, Norwich Park mine, Blackwater mine, the Goonyella Riverside mine as well as the Hay Point Coal Terminal.

Open-cut mining at Gregory Crinum slowed when underground mining began, and by 2012, open-cut mining came to a halt entirely and the Gregory mine closed.[6] In 2016, an Australia’s Mining Monthly article declared that the mine had “reached the end of its productive life” after mining the final longwall panels.[7]

BMA sold the mine to Sojitz Corporation in March 2019. Sojitz has the intention of reopening the mine with an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes per year when fully operational. Sojitz believes the mine’s life is more than 20 years.[3] When Sojitz bought the mine in 2019, news articles published information that the first cargo of coal would be shipped during October 2019, the second half of the company’s financial year.[8] However, it is not clear if restarting the mine did indeed occur.

Project Details

  • Sponsor:
  • Parent Company: Sojitz Corporation[2]
  • Location: Located 60 km north east of Emerald in the Bowen Basin in Queensland.[2]
  • GPS Coordinates: -23.1491384, 148.3875874 (exact)
  • Status: Put on care and maintenance in 2016 by previous owner. When Sojitz acquired the mine in 2019,[2] they announced plans to reopen the mine. It is unclear if the mine has yet reopened.[3]
  • Production Capacity: 3 mtpa[9]
  • Total Resource: 182Mt[6]
  • Mineable Reserves: 27Mt[6]
  • Coal type: hard coking coal[2]
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: Gregory is an open cut mine, and Crinum is an underground longwall mine[4]
  • Start Year: Gregory opened in 1979, Crinum opened in 1997[6]
  • Source of Financing:

Closure of Gregory open cut

In September 2012 BHP-Billiton announced that it would close the Gregory open cut mine from October 10. The company stated that, as a result of a review that "the Gregory open-cut mine production was no longer profitable in the current economic environment of falling prices, high costs and a strong Australian dollar." The company stated that it would "look for opportunities to redeploy affected employees to other BMA operations." The Crinum underground mine and the Gregory Coal Handling Preparation Plant continue to operate though these continued to be under review "to further reduce operating costs, making remaining underground production more profitable."[10]

At the time of its closure, the Gregory open-cut employed 55 employees and 242 contractors.[11]

Articles and resources


  1. BHP-Billiton, "BHP Billiton production report for the year ended 30 June 2012", Media Release, July 2012, page 14.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "BMA completes sale of Gregory Crinum Mine," "BHP website," March 27, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Daniel Gleeson, "DRA Global to help Gregory Crinum coal mine get back to business," "International Mining," March 28, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "About BMA," "BHP Billiton website," accessed January 2010.
  5. Andrew J. Mutton, "QUEENSLAND COALS: Physical and Chemical Properties, Colliery and Company Information. 14th Edition.," "Department of Natural Resources and Mines: Bureau of Mining and Petroleum," 2003.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "BHP Coal Mine – Crinum – Queensland Australia," "Mining Technology," accessed June 2020.
  7. Lou Caruana, "BMA Gregory Crinum finishes with record production," "Australia's Mining Monthly," November 20, 2015.
  8. Ben Creagh, "Gregory Crinum coal mine to restart following BMA sale," "Australian Mining," March 28, 2019.
  9. "Sojitz agrees to acquire Gregory Crinum Mine," "Sojitz Corporation," accessed June 2020.
  10. BHP Billiton, "Production to cease at Gregory open-cut operation", Media Release, September 10, 2012.
  11. Michael Janda, "BHP shuts Queensland coal mine as prices slide", ABC News, September 11, 2012.

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External resources

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