The Springsure Creek underground coal mine is located in Central Queensland, Australia. Image courtesy of TUBS.
Drilling being conducted at the Springsure Creek thermal coal mine.
Agriculture will be conducted above ground at the Springsure Creek project alongside simultaneous underground mining operations.

Springsure Creek Coal Mine

Springsure Creek Coal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandanna Energy, is developing the Springsure Creek underground thermal coal mine in Central Queensland, Australia.

The coal mine is expected to produce approximately 11 million tonnes of coal per year and is expected to have a mine life of 40 years. It is expected to create approximately 350 construction jobs and more than 500 jobs during peak construction.

An environmental impact statement for the coal mine was approved by the Queensland Government in November 2013. Construction is expected to start upon receiving the mining lease, while coal production is anticipated in the second half of 2015.

The project is estimated to cost $1.2bn, including $743m and $437m for the first and second stages of development respectively. Credit Suisse provided a $67.3m bank guarantee facility for the project.

Details and geology of the coal mine

Springsure Creek coal mine is a part of the Springsure Creek Project, which also includes the Springsure Creek agricultural project. A unique feature of the project is that the ground above the mine will be cultivated while mining will be simultaneously conducted underground.

"An environmental impact statement for the coal mine was approved by the Queensland Government in November 2013."

The first stage of development will involve underground mining using longwall method and is expected to produce 5.5 million tonnes of coal per year, which will be increased to 11 million tonnes by 2020 under the second stage.

Springsure Creek coal mine is located within the Denison trough, on the western margin of the Bowen Basin of Central Queensland. The Denison trough consists of a series of grabens and half-grabens formed during the extensional phase of the basins development. The project area covers part of the Permo-Triassic basin, which is filled with north-north-west to south-south-east trending shelves.

Springsure Creek coal mine reserves and resources

The coal mine, as on 31 March 2014, is expected to contain probable reserves of 174 million tonnes of thermal coal. The JORC-compliant resources are estimated at 533.1 million tonnes as of August 2013.

Mining, processing and transportation of coal

Longwall mining method, involving conventional retreat, full-seam longwall extraction technology with two heading gate roads for extracting coal, will be applied at the Springsure Creek project.

The coal will be delivered to the surface via conveyors and will pass through a three-stage crushing process. The top-sized coal of 40mm will be delivered to the coal-handling and processing plant for processing (CHPP) before stockpiling at the product coal stockpile or at the rail loadout facility.

Stockpiled coal will be loaded onto trains and transported to the under-construction Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) stage 1 at Gladstone port via the Blackwater-Gladstone rail corridor. Bandana, which holds 14% share in the WICET stage 1, has allocated four million tonnes per year port capacity for the Springsure Creek project.

Infrastructure and facilities at Springsure Creek

The coal mine will be accessed from the city of Emerald, via the Gregory Highway, Glenore Road, Wyntoon Road and Kilmore Road.

Endeavour Mining’s Tabakoto Gold Mine in western Mali is located approximately 360km west of the capital city, Bamako.

Generators will provide the initial power required for the mine construction. A new 132kV single-circuit overhead line from the existing Blackwater-Rolleston 132kV feeder line will be constructed for further operations.

Infrastructure facilities will include a coal-handling plant, maintenance buildings, administrative buildings, internal road network, fuelling facilities and a rescue and emergency complex.

Workers will be accommodated at a 300-room accommodation village to be constructed approximately 12km south of Emerald.

Water will be sourced from Fairbairn Dam on Nogoa River under the Sunwater Nogoa Mackenzie Water Supply Scheme, which was initiated in 1968 to meet the water requirements of the agricultural and mining developments in the region.

Contractors involved

Ausenco was engaged in January 2014 for providing project management, engineering support and procurement services for the

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