Rolleston coal mine

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The Rolleston coal mine is an open cut mine near Rolleston, in the Bowen Basin in Queensland, Australia.[1]

The mine currently has plans to expand the capacity of the mine by 5 million tonnes per annum (from 14 million tonnes to 19 million tonnes).[2][3]


The map below shows the exact location of the mine near Rolleston, Queensland, Australia.

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The mine was bought by Xstrata in 2003. Xstrata was acquired by Glencore in 2013 and the asset swapped hands.[4] The mine started producing thermal coal in 2003.

On its website Xstrata Coal stated that "on the 24th June 2003 Xstrata plc acquired MIM [Mount Isa Mines] and the Rolleston Coal Project was put on hold for 12 months while Xstrata undertook a detailed evaluation of the project. On the 24th of February 2004 Xstrata plc approved the full scale development of the Rolleston Coal Project at 8mtpa with construction to begin shortly thereafter."[5] In 2004 development of the Rolleston open cut mine was approved and construction commenced, with operations beginning in 2005. To extend the operational life of Rolleston open cut until 2038, approvals have been given to expand operations into the site's adjacent leases.[6]

In 2010 the mine sold 8 million tonnes of coal. Xstrata Coal stated on its website, has a "current approved production levels of 6 million tonnes per annum for export out of the Port of Gladstone and 2 million tonnes per annum for domestic use."[5] The mine commenced operations in September 2003.[1]

Glencore states on its website that Rolleston Coal Glencore "holds a 75% share in a joint venture with Sumisho Coal Australia (12.5%) and ITOCHU Coal Resources Australia Rolleston (12.5%)."[6] Glencore, Itochu and Sumitomo looked to sell the mine in 2017,[7] but in 2019 Glencore is still listed as having a 75% interest .[6] In February 2019 Winfield Energy bought out ITOCHU.[8]

Glencore, Sumisho and ITOCHU were looking to sell this mine. The mine was withdrawn from the market in 2018 following its failure to find a buyer.[9]

In 2021, Glencore took 100 percent interest after buying shares from other owners.[10]

Coal is transported by train from Rolleston to Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal which is within the Port of Gladstone and the terminal is part owned by Glencore.[11]


Glencore has approvals to extend this mine to be able to extract coal for an additional thirty years, to 2045.[12] The Environmental Impact Statement was for this was finished in 2014.[13] In 2016 Glencore had all of the major state approvals but the mine expansion had not commenced.[14]An expansion has been permitted but has not yet started.[1]

Indigenous cultural heritage

Glencore says, "Archaeological research indicates that Aboriginal people have occupied the region around the Project area for at least 18,000 years, with a marked increase in occupation density in the last 3000 years. When European colonists first arrived in the project area in the 1850s, it was thought to be home to around 500 Aboriginal people. This number dropped steadily due to disease and frontier violence, until the majority of Aboriginal people were removed from the area by the government in the early 20th century to settlements within the region. At the Project Site, a number of Indigenous cultural heritage places of known importance exist. Given the number of known sites and the time and depth of occupation in the region, it is likely that further Indigenous heritage sites of these cultural heritage sites will be managed through Cultural Heritage Management Plans."[15]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Glencore (100%)
  • Parent Company: Glencore
  • Location: 16 km west of Rolleston, Queensland[6]
  • Coordinates: -24.456609, 148.404902 (exact)
  • Status: Operating, proposed extension
  • Production Capacity: 12.5 Mt/year.[10]
  • Total Resource: 600 million tonnes (2003)[16]
  • Mineable Reserves: 173 million tonnes [5]known in 2010, with more to be explored
  • Coal type: Thermal[6]
  • Mine Size: 36,328 hectares (total area managed by Rolleston open cut[1] with an extension being applied for for an additional 5,649 hectares[12]
  • Mine Type: Surface mine[12]
  • Start Year: 2005, unclear when expansion will commence[6]
  • Source of Financing:

Expansion Details

  • Capacity: 5 mpta (19 mtpa total)
  • Start Year:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Glencore "Rolleston open cut factsheet" 2018.
  3. Rolleston Coal Expansion Project, Queensland Government, accessed June 2022
  4. "Glencore finishes takeover of Xstrata". 2 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Xstrata Coal, "Rolleston Coal", Xstrata Coal website, (no longer available) accessed August 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Glencore, "Rolleston open cut", Glencore Australia website, accessed 16 October 2019.
  7. Reuters, "Glencore Planning To Sell Rolleston Coal Mine In Queensland", Huffington Post, 28 August 2017.
  8. Winfield Energy, "Announcements" 14 February 2019.
  9. Scott Murdoch, "Glencore shelves Rolleston sale", The Australian, 15 October 2018.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Glencore buys 100pc of Australia’s Rolleston coal mine, Argus Media, August 17, 2021
  11. Morgans, "Special Report: Wiggins Island Coal" 6 May 2014.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Glencore "Rolleston Coal Expansion Project Environmental Impact Statement Summary Booklet",page 2, April 2016.
  13. Glencore "Rolleston Coal Expansion Project Environmental Impact Statement Summary Booklet",page 20, April 2016.
  14. Daily Mercury, "Is Rolleston going to roll out 1200 jobs expansion?", Xstrata Coal website, 17 December 2016.
  15. Glencore "Rolleston Coal Expansion Project Environmental Impact Statement Summary Booklet",page 16, April 2016.
  16. Bowen Basin Mining communities Research Exchange, "Bowen Basin - Operating Coal Mines:", accessed 21 October 2019.

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