Washpool Hard Coking Coal Project

From Global Energy Monitor

Washpool Hard Coking Coal Project was proposed mine by Aquila Resources. The project would be located 260 km west of Rockhampton and 60 km to the north east of Emerald, in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland, Australia.[1]

Other coal mines are in the area. Idemitsu’s Ensham minelies is to the west and Coronado Coal's Curragh Mine is to the east.[1] The mine is predicted to have a 16 year life.[1] The company intends to export via the Port of Gladstone.[1]

The expected production capacity was increased in 2014 following a supplementary study. The expected output increased from 2.6 mtpa to 2.9 mtpa from a total of 7.2 Mtpa of Fun of Mine(ROM) coal. Aquila does not say what will happen with the middling coal, a bi-product of the production of hard coking coal.[2]

No progress on the operation has been reported and it is likely shelved or canceled.


The undated image below shows the exact proposed location of the mine.[1]

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Coal Mine Background

In June 2009, Aquila Resources announced that it had completed a concept study on the project which "has produced robust economics and identified no potential fatal flaws". While the company states that that "Base Case project economics" are "very robust" giving the project an internal rate of return of 35% and a payback period of four years, this was abased on a rather optimistic assumption (for exporters) of the A$1 trading at US70 cents. The company also states that "1.6mtpa of capacity is being secured at the Wiggins Island Coal Terminal Project at Gladstone by the Company, with first production schedule to occur during calendar 2012."[3]

In June 2009 the company stated that the project feasibility study is due for completion by December 2010 with "the Definitive Feasibility Study, Mining Lease grant and approval process to be completed mid 2011."[3]

In 2010 the project was estimated to cost $402 million.[4]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Aquila Resources[1]
  • Parent Company: Baosteel 85%, Aurizon 15%[5]
  • Location: Blackwater, Queensland.[1]
  • GPS Coordinates: -23.393448, 148.741765 (exact)[1]
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Production Capacity: 2.9 Mt/year[2]
  • Total Resource: 196.7 Mt[1]
  • Mineable Reserves: 124.9Mt[6]
  • Coal type: Metallurgical[1]
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: surface mine[1]
  • Start Year:
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Aquila Resources, "Washpool Hard Coking Coal Project" accessed 14 October 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Aquila Resources, "Washpool Hard Coking Coal Project Supplementary Study"" page 1, 15 April 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Aquila Resources, "Washpool Hard Coking Coal Project: Concept Study Completed, Robust Economics, No Fatal Flaws: Feasibility Study to Commence", Media Release, June 4, 2009.
  4. Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, "Minerals and energy: Major development projects", April 2010. (Pdf). The list is also available in Excel format here.)
  5. Mining Technology, "Washpool Hard Coking Coal Project" accessed 14 October 2019.
  6. Market Screener "Aquila Resources Inc : Washpool Hard Coking Coal Project - DFS and Rail Capacity Update" 5 September 2011.

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