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Hay Point

Queensland Coal

Queensland Coal comprises the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) assets in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland, Australia. Queensland Coal has access to key infrastructure in the Bowen Basin, including a modern, multi-user rail network and its own coal-loading terminal at Hay Point, located near the city of Mackay.

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BMA is Australia’s largest coal producer and supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal. It is owned 50:50 by BHP and Mitsubishi Development. BMA operates seven Bowen Basin mines (Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Daunia, Peak Downs, Saraji, Blackwater and Caval Ridge) and owns and operates the Hay Point Coal Terminal near Mackay. With the exception of the Broadmeadow underground longwall operation, BMA’s mines are open-cut, using draglines and truck and shovel fleets for overburden removal.

BMC owns and operates two open-cut metallurgical coal mines in the Bowen Basin – South Walker Creek Mine and Poitrel Mine. BMC is owned by BHP (80 per cent) and Mitsui and Co (20 per cent). South Walker Creek Mine is located on the eastern flank of the Bowen Basin, 35 kilometres west of the town of Nebo and 132 kilometres west of the Hay Point port facilities. Poitrel Mine is situated southeast of the town of Moranbah and began open-cut operations in October 2006.

Ever wondered what it's like to drive one of the biggest trucks in the world?

Ever wondered what it's like to drive one of the biggest trucks in the world? Meet April who does just that. April drives a Caterpillar 797f rear dump truck at Peak Downs Mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin.

Key developments during FY2019

BMA completed the sale of the Gregory Crinum Mine to Sojitz Corporation on 27 March 2019. In addition to the sale of the mine to Sojitz, BMA has provided Sojitz funding for rehabilitation of existing areas of disturbance at the site. 

For BMA, the construction of the Caval Ridge Southern Circuit (CRSC) project in the Bowen Basin was completed with the first conveying of coal in October 2018. The CRSC project includes an 11-kilometre overland conveyor system that transports coal from Peak Downs Mine to the coal handling preparation plant at the nearby Caval Ridge Mine, enabling utilisation of the latent capacity of the Caval Ridge coal handling preparation plant.

The introduction of productivity initiatives targeting system hours, the haul cycle, payload, our trucking strategy and enabling activities were initiated in FY2019 to improve pre-strip productivity across the Queensland Coal business. By further improving our productivity in truck and shovel operations, we expect 
to accelerate the rate at which coal is uncovered and ensure a continuous feed for our wash plants.

The Integrated Remote Operations Centre has been focused on ultra-class truck utilisation improvements through the use of analytics and technology to optimise on-circuit trucks. This has minimised process delays through effective refuelling, meal breaks and shift change practices and embedded improvements in the 24-hour mine planning process. 

Looking ahead
For BMA, continued delivery of initiatives and improved operating discipline through the site-level integrated operational plans are expected to support delivery of productivity improvement. In the medium term, trucking performance is expected to improve to benchmark rates, as well as the realisation of transformation initiative benefits, through leveraging latent coal handling preparation plant and logistics capacity. 

BMA’s safety performance requires significant improvement. With three fatalities over the last four years, BMA is focusing its efforts to drive a change in safety through the consistent application of improved safety standards, increasing the standardisation of work, improving the quality of task-based risk assessments and decreasing fatal risk exposure through investment in hard controls.

BMC will work to continue to improve the quality of field leadershiphazard reporting and risk management at both South Walker Creek and Poitrel Mines, and the Red Mountain coal handling preparation plant. We will also focus on improving truck and shovel productivity to ensure optimal utilisation of our coal handling preparation plants. BMC will reopen Ramp 10 at Poitrel to increase available mining areas, target delivery of the Mulgrave Resource Area 2C project at South Walker Creek to release lower strip ratio resources in the medium term, and continue to prioritise low capital de-bottlenecking opportunities. 
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