The Kevin’s Corner Coal Project is being developed by Hancock Galilee Pty Ltd (Hancock Galilee), a wholly owned subsidiary of GVK. The Kevin’s Corner site is adjacent and just to the north of the proposed Alpha coal mine (Figure 12). Mining lease application (MLA) 70425 covers the proposed Kevin’s Corner site, within existing Hancock Prospecting tenement boundaries of EPC 1210 and MDL 333. Construction of the entire operation, with an expected capital outlay of $4.2 billion, is expected to take about four years, although initial coal production is planned to occur after two years of construction (currently estimated to be in 2017) (Hancock Galilee, 2011). The mine is expected to progress to full production capacity over five to seven years, and will operate for at least 30 years. The peak annual production rate of product coal is expected to be at least 27 Mt, although the mine will have a maximum 30 Mt/year capacity (Hancock Galilee, 2012).
The thermal coal resources at Kevin’s Corner are contiguous with those to the south at Alpha, and have been well defined by extensive drilling and detailed resource modelling and characterisation. A significant 4.3 billion tonne (Gt) coal resource is delineated (reported in accordance with the JORC Code), which includes almost half a billion tonnes of reserve category coal (Hancock Galilee, 2011). The resource is high moisture, high volatile, low to medium rank coal with low sulfur content. Similar to Alpha, there are six Late Permian coal seams at Kevin’s Corner, with the upper seams in the Bandanna Formation (A and B), and the lower four seams part of the Colinlea Sandstone (Mutton, 2003).
The Late Permian strata at Kevin’s Corner are overlain by a variably thick cover of Cenozoic sediments, averaging about 40 m. The Cenozoic cover, which includes sand, gravel and clay, is thickest in the central and eastern parts of the mining lease, and thins towards the topographically high areas to the west. In the far west of the site fine-grained Triassic rocks of the Rewan Group overlie the Permian coal-bearing strata. The north-striking coal seams are of relatively consistent thickness across the MLA and dip gently to the west (1 to 2°) with no major (regional scale) faults. Mining operations will primarily target the D seam due to its relatively low ash content, which makes it the most economically attractive (export quality) coal within the MLA. A lesser amount of run of mine (ROM) coal will be extracted from the overlying A, B and C seams, although the total combined tonnage of these three seams is likely to be less than 10% of all raw coal mined at Kevin’s Corner (Hancock Galilee, 2011). A summarised stratigraphic column for the Kevin’s Corner Coal Project is in Table 8.
Although adjacent to the proposed Alpha coal mine, the Kevin’s Corner mine has been designed as a stand-alone facility that will comprise two open-cut (the Central and Northern pits) and three underground (longwall) operations, as well as supporting infrastructure including a coal handling and processing plant (CHPP). Over the life-of-mine, approximately 75% of all ROM coal will be extracted from the longwall mines, and 25% from the open-cuts. Initial operations will focus on open-cut mining the shallower coal seams in the east of the lease, commencing in sub-crop areas and progressing westwards (down-dip). The open-cut pits will be developed over a strike-length of 6.5 km; although this is expected to reduce to about 4 km over-time (Hancock Galilee, 2012). Overburden will be stripped using conventional excavator, truck-shovel and dragline equipment, and hauled to waste dumps. As mining progresses, waste rock (and coarse coal rejects from the CHPP) will be used to backfill areas of the pit that have been mined-out. The pre-strip truck-excavator fleet will remove all of the weathered Cenozoic overburden.
Table 8 Composite stratigraphy of the Kevin’s Corner Coal Project in the Galilee subregion
Source data: Hancock Galilee (2011)
Three independent underground longwall mines are proposed at Kevin’s Corner. Mining will progress towards the west, with individual longwall panels retreating from north to south (Hancock Galilee, 2012). Each underground operation is designed to have its own access point for coal removal (via conveyor), servicing and ventilation. The Northern Underground mine will be developed first, as it has the shallowest access point and shortest initial panel length. The Central and Southern underground mines will then be sequentially developed. The mine plan has been designed so that maximum underground capacity of about 28 Mt of ROM coal per year will be achieved about seven years after work begins on the first underground drift (Hancock Galilee, 2012).
Apart from the main open-cut and underground mining operations, the Kevin’s Corner development will also include:
- coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP)
- rail loop (for loading) and spur (to connect to the main Alpha Coal Project railway) to allow coal to be transported to the export shipping facility at Abbott Point
- accommodation village to house the mostly fly-in/fly-out workforce
- airport, including a runway 2500 m long
- light industrial area (LIA), will be located along the mine access road near to rail, power and water supplies and the site airport. The LIA will house vehicle workshops, warehouse facilities and buildings for mine security, administration and environmental management
- mine infrastructure area (MIA); including all facilities directly associated with mine operations such as control points, vehicle parking, servicing and maintenance workshops and vehicle wash-down areas.
The Queensland Coordinator-General (CG) declared the Kevin’s Corner Coal Project to be a ‘coordinated project’ in September 2009. This required preparation of EIS documentation for submission to the CG, as well as for public consultation. The project was also referred to the Australian Government, and declared a ‘controlled action’ under the EPBC Act. Following a period of review, consultation, and the preparation of a Supplementary EIS, it was determined by the Queensland CG in May 2013 that the Kevin’s Corner Coal Project could proceed subject to conditions. Approval for the development to proceed was also granted by the Australian Government under the EPBC Act in November 2013. As of August 2014, construction of the Kevin’s Corner mine-site and associated infrastructure requires granting of the mining lease application (MLA 70425) from the Queensland Government, as well as approval of the development’s environmental authority (EA) under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
Product Finalisation date
- 1.2.1 Available coal and coal seam gas resources
- 1.2.2 Current activity and tenements
- 1.2.3 Proposals and exploration
- 184.108.40.206 Coal
- 220.127.116.11.1 Alpha Coal Project
- 18.104.22.168.2 Kevin's Corner Coal Project
- 22.214.171.124.3 China First Coal Project
- 126.96.36.199.4 Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project
- 188.8.131.52.5 South Galilee Coal Project
- 184.108.40.206.6 China Stone Coal Project
- 220.127.116.11.7 Alpha North Coal Project
- 18.104.22.168.8 Clyde Park Coal Project
- 22.214.171.124.9 Alpha West Coal Project
- 126.96.36.199.10 Carmichael East Coal Project
- 188.8.131.52.11 West Pentland Coal Project
- 184.108.40.206.12 Pentland Coal Project
- 220.127.116.11.13 Degulla Coal Project
- 18.104.22.168.14 Hyde Park Coal Project
- 22.214.171.124.15 Blackall Coal Project
- 126.96.36.199.16 Regional coal exploration in Galilee Basin
- 188.8.131.52.17 Galilee Basin State Development Area
- 184.108.40.206 Coal seam gas
- 220.127.116.11 Coal
- 1.2.4 Catalogue of potential resource developments
- Appendix A
- Contributors to the Technical Programme
- About this technical product