New Acland coal mine expansion

New Acland Coal Pty Ltd is the proponent for an expansion of the existing New Acland open-cut coal mine to be known as the "New Acland Coal Mine Stage 2 Expansion Project". The proponent submitted to the department a replacement environmental authority (mining lease) application for the existing and proposed operations. The department determined that the application was non-standard and that an environmental impact statement (EIS) was required. The department managed the assessment of the project using the EIS process set out in part 1 of chapter 3 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

The project proposal is located 14km north, north-west of Oakey and 35km north-west of Toowoomba in Rosalie Shire on the Darling Downs in southern Queensland and involves expanding current mining operations from 4.7 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of run of mine (ROM) coal to up to 7.4 Mtpa of ROM coal for up to 15 years. The proponent holds tenement to the project under Mineral Development Licence (MDL) 244 and Mining Lease (ML) 50170. The proponent has applied for Mining Lease Application (MLA) 50216 for the expansion of operations as part of the replacement environmental authority application.

Expansion activities involve the development of two additional pits south of the existing operation (south and centre pits). Subject to gaining the necessary approvals, mining will commence in the south pit in 2007 and the central pit in 2015 (i.e. following the cessation of mining in the north pit) and continue until the scheduled completion of mining around 2020. Raw coal will be processed in the coal handling and processing plant (CHPP) on ML50170. The CHPP will be upgraded to handle the additional throughput of coal. Washplant tailings will be disposed of within the existing tailings dam on ML 50170 and possibly within the backfilled mined pits during the later stages of the project. Washed coal will continue to be transported 16km along Jondaryan-Muldu Road to New Acland's train loading facility located east of Jondaryan, adjacent to the Warrego Highway. The coal will be hauled by rail to the Port of Brisbane for export. A smaller percentage of washed coal will be transported to Swanbank and Tarong Energy Power Stations.

Lagoon Creek is an ephemeral stream that flows through the south-east corner of the mining area. A 3km long levee bank is proposed along Lagoon Creek to prevent floodwaters from entering the south pit. No creek diversions are proposed as part of the proposed expansion.

The site is proposed to undergo progressive rehabilitation with pasture grasses and scattered trees to re-establish grazing as the final land use, subject to land use suitability and final landform stability assessments.

The EIS Assessment Report has been issued to the proponent and the EIS process is now completed.

Publicly available documents:

For further information about the EIS process for the New Acland Coal Mine State 2 Expansion Project, contact the EIS Co-ordinator on telephone (07) 3224 8149.

Available from the library catalogue

The documents referred to on this page are available from the department’s online library catalogue.