Alpha North Coal Project

Waratah Coal has defined significant thermal coal resources within their EPC tenements 1039, 1053 and 1079 immediately north of the proposed Kevin’s Corner coal mine (Figure 12). In September 2012 Waratah lodged mineral development licences (MDLs) 481 (Pocky Creek) and 485 (Laglan) over the most prospective area of these tenements, and subsequently followed that in November 2012 with mining lease application (MLA) 70489. This area, known as the Alpha North Coal Project, contains about 3.5 Gt of high quality thermal coal (reported in accordance with the JORC Code) which could be developed into another large scale Galilee Basin mining operation at some future stage (Waratah Coal, 2014a).

Although the China First Coal Project is clearly the most advanced development of Waratah Coal’s Galilee Basin assets, preliminary concept plans for an integrated mining operation at North Alpha, along with associated infrastructure, are available at Waratah Coal (2014a). These plans indicate that, if fully constructed, the North Alpha Coal Project may consist of two open-cut mines, four underground longwall mines, coal handling and preparation plants, and associated mining infrastructure. A staged development process may occur, initially producing coal from the open-cut mines, before the more productive underground operations were commissioned. At peak annual production, about 56 Mt of run-of-mine (ROM) coal may be mined, leading to 40 Mt/year of product coal for export (Waratah Coal, 2013b). A rail spur would also be built (subject to approvals) to connect the Alpha North mine with the proposed railway development linking the China First mine with the coal export port of Abbot Point.

Waratah Coal is seeking a joint venture partner to share the investment risk for the proposed Alpha North Coal Project. Consequently, the timing of the approvals process of Alpha North Coal Project, such as notifying the Queensland Coordinator-General and preparing documentation for an EIS submission is currently unknown.

Last updated:
5 January 2018
Thumbnail of the Galilee subregion

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