A mine of biblical proportions

Waratah Coals proposed Galilee thermal coal project in Central Queensland will have an annual export capacity of 40 million tonnes.

Waratah Coal’s proposed Galilee thermal coal project in Central Queensland will have an annual export capacity of 40 million tonnes, the company said.

Scheduled to come online in late 2012, the $7.5 billion mine contains an inferred thermal coal resource of more than 4.3 billion tonnes and will produce and export high volatile, low sulphur, steaming coal.

The coal will be processed at an on-site facility north of the town of Alpha, 160 km to the west of Emerald, then transported by a 495 km rail system from the Galilee Basin to a planned export port facility on the Central Queensland coast.

Waratah plans to construct a state-of-the-art, heavy haul, standard gauge rail system to support 21,000 tonne train units.

The new rail system will be equipped with dual gauge rail from the Bowen Basin mining area to the port to accommodate third party users from the region.

According to Waratah, the export facility for shipping the coal is planned for within the Defence Department’s Shoalwater Bay Training Area, and will have an initial capacity of 50 million tonnes of coal per year and will be designed to accommodate a full range of bulk carriers.

Once the port facility reaches its full capacity of 50 million tonnes up to 50 trains will take coal to the port each week, Waratah said.

Waratah plans for approximately eight to 10 bulk carriers to enter the port on a weekly basis with a range of destinations including Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, other Asian nations and India.

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