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BHP eyes renewables for post-Mt Arthur Coal

BHP Mount Arthur

As the 2030 closure date of Mt Arthur Coal draws nearer, BHP is weighing up its options for a sustainable transition.

Located in Muswellbrook in New South Wales, Mt Arthur Coal has been producing energy coal since 2002. BHP is proceeding with a managed process to cease mining at the site by the end of the 2030 financial year.

The Big Australia is taking a close look at renewables, in particular pumped hydro, as an option for the site, which sits on over 7000 hectares of land.

“Our aspiration is to deliver sustainable landforms and land uses which can provide a positive legacy for generations to come post the closure of Mt Arthur Coal in 2030,” BHP said.

“As we have said from the beginning, Mt Arthur Coal’s closure must not only generate positive environmental outcomes, it must also ensure we do our part to ensure Muswellbrook remains a thriving community where many people want to live and work.”

BHP said that a pumped hydro project at the site could generate power for up to 500,000 homes a day, as well as delivering jobs during construction and operation.

“The scale of the land, the exisiting infrastructure of the mine and operation, the proximity to rail and other industry represents an opportunity for the Upper Hunter post 2030,” the company said.

Pumped hydro works by using stored water to spin a turbine to generate electricity, usually throughout the night when other sources such as solar and wind are not available.

Water is then pumped back up to the upper reservoir during the day, making energy available for 24 hours a day.

“We will keep you updated on this work as it progresses, along with other land-use and rehabilitation work that’s underway,” BHP said.

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