Red Hill coal project

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The Red Hill coal project is a proposed underground mine being investigated by the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, to produce 14 million tonnes per annum, near Moranbah, Central Queensland, Australia.[1]

Coal would be exported via BMA's Hay Point Coal Terminal.[2]

The project received federal approval in 2015 but remains undeveloped. Yet an industry media report in February 2020 asserts that BHP retains "growth plans at Red Hill and Ward's Well."[3]


The undated image below shows the exact location of the proposed site.[4]

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Coal Mine Background

The project was initiated in 2008.[5]

In 2012 the application was withdrawn from the Federal Government's environmental approvals process by the company who cited a "challenging external environment". Prior to this the Red Hill mine was expected to produce 14 million tonnes of metallurgical coal a year with construction work planned to start in 2015.[6]

In August 2015 the proposed Red Hill Mining project was given environmental approval by the Federal Government having obtained state governmental approval a month earlier. BMA has not said when it intends to start the new mine and extend the existing ones under this permission. The federal approval won't lapse until 2052.[7]

When the Coordinator-General approved the Red Hill Mining project it was with strict requirements that the work force were not 100% fly in, fly out. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union described the government’s stipulation as a huge win for the community of Moranbah as it means that people living closer to the mine are much more likely to get work.[8]

The proposal also includes plans to construct a coal handling and processing plant and an accommodation village. As part of the same planning permission BMA intends to extract further coal via an extension of three longwall panels of its existing underground Broadmeadow Mine and the incremental expansion of its existing open-cut Goonyella Riverside Mine.[9]

The underground Red Hill mine could operate for between 20-25 years. The extension to the Broadwater mine is expected to add a year to the life of the mine. The extension to the Goonyella Riverside mine could produce 18.5 mtpa, producing a total of 32.5 mtpa between the new Red Hill mine and the extended Goonyella Riverside mine.[2]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: BHP Mitsubishi Alliance[9]
  • Parent Company: BHP and Mitsubishi (50:50)
  • Location: 20 kilometres north of Moranbah, Central Queensland[9]
  • GPS Coordinates: -21.764098, 148.005592 (exact)[4]
  • Status: Proposed[9]
  • Production Capacity: 14 Mt/year[10]
  • Total Resource: 1711Mt[11]
  • Mineable Reserves:
  • Coal type: Coking coal[9]
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: Underground[7]
  • Workforce Size:1500 [12]
  • Start Year:
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and resources


  1. BHP "Annual Report 2019" BHP, Page 282, May 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 BMA, "Red Hill Mining Lease EIS │Executive Summary",Red Hill Mining Lease Environmental Impact Statement, Executive Summary, Page 1, 2 July 2019.
  3. Peter Ker, BHP in box seat as Peabody puts troubled mine on block, Financial Review, February 7, 2020
  4. 4.0 4.1 Queensland Government, "Coordinated projects map", State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, 2 July 2019.
  5. Malavika Santhebennur, "Revived Red Hill mine to create 3500 jobs", Australian Mining, 19 June 2013.
  6. Andrew Duffy, "BHP dumps plans for another 3 coal mines",Australian Mining, 20 September 2012.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Melissa Maddison, "BMA Red Hill coal mine in central Queensland granted federal environmental approval", ABCNews, 18 August 2015.
  8. "NEW Bowen Basin mine approved with FIFO conditions",iMINCO website, accessed 16 October 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Queensland Government, "Red Hill Mining Lease Project", State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, 7 June 2019.
  10. "ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: Executive Summary," BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, 2014.
  11. BHP "Annual Report 2019" BHP, Page 283, May 2019.
  12. Red Hill Mining Lease Project Draft EIS

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