South Burnett coal project

From Global Energy Monitor

The South Burnett coal project was a proposed surface mine, investigated by Moreton Resources, to produce 10 million tonnes per annum, near Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia.[1]

The company withdrew its application in February 2020 after the project lapsed. It is considered a canceled project.[2]


The map below shows the exact location of the proposed mine.[3]

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In May 2016 the project referred to Commonwealth Minister for the Environment. The company submitted the mine application, including initial advice statement in May 2016. In June 2016 the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment decided the project was a 'controlled action'. The Final Initial Advice statement was submitted in August 2016. In December 2016 Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Statement were completed. In June 2018 the 'Coordinated project' declaration lapsed.[1]

In 2013 Cougar Energy had a debt of over 8 million dollars after it tried to sue the Queensland government. Later that year Cougar changed its name to Moreton Resources and relisted on the Australian Stock Exchange.[4]

The mine would lie 10km south of Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia and operate over thirty years.[3]


The project includes a transport corridor. This is either a proposed multi-user railway line or coal slurry pipeline. The transport corridor would be 131 km long and connect the mine with the North Coast Line near Theebine. The route approximately follows the defunct Kingaroy Branch Line.[3] Coal for export could go to Queensland east coast ports. Moreton Energy want to supply the nearby Tarong North power station, but it is not interested in this coal.[5]


Many local people are against the mine as it is on agricultural land. Fertile red soils, used to grow predominantly peanuts and legumes, surround Kingaro including the land where the mine is proposed.[6] It is farmers who are leading the opposition campaign.[7] A number of farmers would have to be moved off their farms.[8]

An underground coal gasification plant used to be operated here by the same company Cougar Energy, now Moreton Resources. It was closed in 2010 due to contamination of ground water. Underground coal gasification was subsequently banned in Queensland in 2016.[9]

The Tarong North power station is a coal fired power station 20km away. It has said that it does not want to buy the coal from South Burnett as it already has a local supply. It says, "Stanwell today reiterated its position that it has more than enough competitive cost coal to supply Tarong’s power stations from its adjacent Meandu Mine until the end of their economic lives. Stanwell’s chief executive officer, Richard Van Breda, said it would not be in Stanwell’s commercial interest to source more expensive coal from Moreton Resources’ proposed project. In fact it would cost Stanwell hundreds of millions of dollars to make such a change."[5]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Moreton Resources[3] formerly Cougar Energy[10]
  • Parent Company:
  • Location: 10km south of Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia[3]
  • GPS Coordinates: -26.598949, 151.852885 (exact)[3]
  • Status: Cancelled[3]
  • Production Capacity: 10 Mtpa (or 5 Mtpa the website of the company contradicts itself)[3]
  • Total Resource: 122.3 Mt[3]
  • Mineable Reserves:
  • Coal type: Thermal[3]
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: Opencast[3]
  • Start Year:
  • Workforce Size:500[11]
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Queensland Government, "South Burnett Coal Project", Queensland State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and planning, 20 June 2018.
  2. Ann Miller, Moreton Withdraws Coal Mine Application, South Burnett, February 11, 2020
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Moreton Resources, "About South Burnett Coal Project", Moreton Resources website, accessed 3 December 2019.
  4. ABC News "Coal country", ABC News, around 14 minutes, 15 June 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Stanwell Corporation, "Stanwell reiterates its position on Moreton Resources to the community", Stanwell media release, 25 February 2016.
  6. Nikola Van de Wetering, "Would a coal mine save Kingaroy, or destroy it? Opinion is fiercely divided", ABC News, 18 June 2019.
  7. ABC News, "Coal country", ABC News, around 7 minutes 15 June 2019.
  8. Nikola Van de Wetering, "Coal country", ABC News, around 10.30 minutes 15 June 2019.
  9. ABC News "Coal country", ABC News, from 11 minutes 15 June 2019.
  10. Troy Kippen, "Proposed site 'doubles'", South Burnett Times, Press Reader website, 12 August 2014.
  11. Queensland, State Development, South Burnett Coal Project

Articles and resources

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