India’s Adani Mining has proposed the development of Carmichael coal mine and rail project in Clermont Town, Central Queensland, Australia, which is the fourth largest coal producing country.
The project will feature a 27.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) green field coal mine and a 200km railway line connecting the mine to the existing Goonyella rail system.
Adani invested $3.3bn in the project as of November 2018. The capital investment for the initial construction and pre-production activities has been scaled down to A$2bn ($2.8bn).
The integrated mining and railway project received approval from the Australian Government in July. Construction of the rail line is expected to commence in 2019 and the first coal is expected in 2021. The Carmichael mine is expected to have an operating life of approximately 60 years.
The Australian coal mine project is estimated to create 1,075 construction and 3,800 operational jobs, and the railway project is expected to create approximately 1,400 construction and 120 operational jobs.
Geology and reserves
Eagle Downs Coal Project in the Bowen Basin, Central Queensland, is one of only three new hard coking coal mines currently being developed in Australia.
The Carmichael coal deposit lies across a 200km² area in the northern part of Galilee Basin, approximately 160km north-west of Clermont in Central Queensland.
The Carmichael deposit comprises Late Permian coal seams mainly found in three formations: the Colinlea Sandstones, the Bandanna Formation and the Betts Creek Beds. The coal seams have a maximum thickness of 20m and gradually dip to the west between 2⁰ and 6⁰ and sub-crop along the eastern boundary of the mine.
The mine is estimated to contain ten billion tonnes of JORC-compliant thermal coal resources, including 3.4 billion tonnes of measured and indicated resources.
Mining and processing of coal
The project will comprise both open-cut and underground pits. Conventional dragline and truck-shovel methods will be used at the open-cut mine.
Rear-dump haul trucks will transport the coal to the run-of-mine (ROM) dump stations. The fleet for open-cut mining will include CAT 6060 and Liebherr R9800 excavators, Caterpillar 797F, 789C and 793F rear-dump trucks, Sandvik D45KS drillers and Caterpillar 994D front-end loaders.
Longwall mining methods will be used at the underground mines. The mines will be accessed by two inclined drifts, one will provide access for personnel and materials and the other will be used for the conveyor coal clearance system. Coal from the underground mines will be transported to the central coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) by an overland conveyor (OLC).
The ROM coal from the open pit and underground mines will be directly dumped into hoppers at the CHPP before passing through the crushing stage, in which it will be crushed and sized. The crushed coal will then be transported by overland conveyors to the raw and product coal stockpiles.
Three processing streams using physical agitation and water washing will be maintained to process coarse, fine and ultra-fine coal. The tailings will be transported to the aboveground tailings storage facility. Coal will be transferred by conveyors to the train load out area and transported to the coal terminal at Abbot Point port.
Carmichael rail project details
The Carmichael rail project is a 200km development and will have the capacity to carry up to 40mtpa. It will be a narrow-gauge rail line connecting the Goonyella rail line to the Abbot Point port.
The maintenance facility for the locomotives will be located near the mine site, with an approximate footprint area of 280ha. The maximum allowable speed on the rail line is 80km/h.
The rail project will be deployed with a remote-control signalling (RCS) system utilising signalling methodology.
Carmichael coal mine and rail project infrastructure facilities
The mine will be accessed via Moray-Carmichael Road, which will be upgraded as part of the project.
The Carmichael coal mine project will also include the development of an underground mining ROM stockpile, mine water storage dams, a permanent heavy vehicle workshop, a warehouse, a diesel storage facility and an additional lubricant storage facility at the mine site.
The power supply for the mine will be provided via a 275kV transmission line from the 275/66kV Galilee North substation.
Workers will be accommodated at a village with a capacity of 2,000 people.
GHD was involved in preparing the environmental study reports for the Carmichael coal project.