Alpha, Central Queensland, Australia
Measured and Indicated Reserves
274 million tonnes (132.3mt proven and 141.7mt probable)
Construction to Start
First Coal Expected
Up to 19 million tonnes per annum
AMCI (50%), Bandanna Energy (50%)
South Galilee is a thermal or seam coal project proposed to be produced through open-cut and underground coal-mining operation with a production capacity of up to 19 million tonnes (mt) of run of mine (ROM) coal per year. The mine is planned to be commissioned for commercial production in 2015.
The mine will be jointly developed by AMCI (Alpha), a subsidiary of the AMCI Group, and Alpha Coal, a subsidiary of Bandanna Energy, through a 50-50 joint venture. Alpha is manager of the joint venture. An investment of A$4.2bn ($4.4bn) is expected to be made in the project.
Aurecon Hatch completed the pre-feasibility study of the project in April 2011. MET Serve released the environmental impact statement (EIS) of the project in October 2012.
The project area falls under the administration of Barcaldine Regional Council. The project site is located in Galilee Basin, approximately 12km south-west of Alpha township, which is situated around 170km west of Emerald and 450km west of Rockhampton in central Queensland, Australia.
South Galilee Coal Project details
The South Galilee Coal Project (SGCP) comprises parts of two Exploration Permits for Coal (EPCs), EPC1049 and EPC1180, which are spread over an area of about 440km². The project intends to produce 447mt of coal over the life of the mine, which is currently estimated at 33 years.
Other infrastructure to be developed as part of the project are construction of a rail spur for connection to a common user rail line, coal handling infrastructure, mine water management system, a coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP), electricity transmission lines, and an on-site accommodation village.
Mine geology and reserves
The South Galilee mine lies in the south-eastern area of the Galilee Basin, which is made up of sediments belonging to Late Carboniferous and Middle Triassic periods. The east-west trending Barcaldine Ridge divides the basin into northern and southern sections.
The coal beds exist in the Late Permian Bandanna Formation. The project aims to excavate D1 and D2 coal seams which are understood to be comprised of three plies of varying thickness.
According to 2011 estimates, the South Galilee coal mine is estimated to contain 274mt of reserves including 132.3mt of proven and 141.7mt of probable reserves. Ongoing exploration is expected to result in upward revision of the reserves.
The mining complex will be suitable for both open pit and underground workings. Once fully operational, it will produce up to 19mt of thermal coal per year exclusively to meet export demands.
The open-cut mining operation will be carried out through four pits. The total strike length of each pit will be about 14km. The open-cut operation will produce 5mt per annum and involve conventional strip mining using draglines. Pre-stripping will be carried out by a fleet of typical truck and shovel. A combination of smaller truck and shovel will be deployed to mine coal and remove interburden.
Underground operation will be started in the second phase of the project. It will be undertaken by applying the long-wall mining method.
Alpha Coal Project is a high thermal coal mine located in the Galilee Basin in Queensland, Australia.
The ROM coal will be sent to the CHPP by trucks. The coal will be put through conventional wet beneficiation processes in the CHPP. The processed coal will finally be transported to the Abbot Point Coal Terminal for exportation.
Three-phase construction programme
The construction of SGCP will be carried out in three phases. The construction on the first phase is expected to start in 2013 and will continue until 2015. The second and third phases are scheduled to be constructed during 2014-2017 and 2017-2019 respectively.
All the major civil and capital works necessary for the commencement of the open-cut mine operation will be completed in the first phase. The second and third phases will involve extension of the open-cut mine and construction of the underground mine.