1.2.3 Proposals and exploration


There are currently five active coal mine proposals in the Maranoa-Balonne-Condamine subregion. Of these, three are new mines and two are expansion projects and are all in the east and north-east of the subregion. The New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project is an expansion of current open-cut mining, which will introduce three new pits and extend mining at the site until approximately 2042, for which an environmental impact statement (EIS) has been lodged. The Range is a new open-cut mine project for which the target coal will be 20 to 120 m below the surface and will consist of three open pits where low-emission (low emissions of NO2, SOx, particulates and CO2 relative to other traded coals), thermal quality coal will be mined. The coal seams are dipping gently to the west (meaning that they are more shallow towards the east) and an EIS has been submitted for The Range. A coal‑to‑liquids project (where mined coal will be converted to liquid fuel) has been proposed in the subregion in the name of ambreCTL. The mine will be open-cut and although an EIS has been lodged it is currently listed as ‘withdrawn’ and its present status is not clear. The Cameby Downs Expansion Project seeks to extend the life of the existing Cameby Downs Mine by up to 40 years. An EIS will need to be submitted so that mining can occur on existing and adjoining mining leases to the present Cameby Downs Mine if approved. The Columboola Project will target coals that are down dip to those extending from Cameby Downs Mine and will be extracted through underground mining. This project is still at the exploration stage and an EIS has not been lodged.

Coal exploration is largely in the north-west, north and east of the subregion. There are currently approximately 190 exploration permits for coal (EPCs) granted in the Maranoa-Balonne-Condamine subregion.

Several coal seam gas (CSG) projects are currently under construction within the Maranoa-Balonne-Condamine subregion to supply gas to three large scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects on Curtis Island: the Queensland Curtis LNG Project, the Gladstone LNG Project, and the Australia Pacific LNG Project.

The Stratheden gas field, a comparatively small development, is expected to supply gas to the domestic market. The gas field has been drilled and commissioned.

Another proposed large scale CSG development is the Surat Gas Project. The Surat Gas Project received State and Australian Government approval in 2013, but no financial commitment has been made to date. Other proposed CSG projects are the Gladstone LNG Gas Field Development Project and the Ironbark Project for which EIS are currently being prepared.

Exploration in the Walloon Coal Measures of the Surat Basin in the subregion is being carried out by a number of smaller companies (e.g. Icon Energy Limited, Senex Energy Limited) as well as the four large CSG companies: Arrow Energy Pty Ltd, Origin Energy Limited, QGC Limited, and Santos Ltd.

Last updated:
5 January 2018
Thumbnail of the Maranoa-Baloone-Condamine subregion

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