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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 FY2020

Queensland Coal achieved record underground coal mined at Broadmeadow of 2.43 Mt (compared to 2.12 Mt in FY2019) and record annual production at Caval Ridge of 4.35 Mt (compared to 3.97 Mt in FY2019) and Poitrel of 4.13 Mt (compared to 4.07 Mt in FY2019).

Productivity initiatives introduced in FY2019 to accelerate the rate at which coal is uncovered and ensure a continuous feed to the wash plants remained on track, with FY2020 focused on improvements in payload and cycle times. Through the Integrated Remote Operations Centre, we continued to build on the ultra class truck utilisation improvements, optimising truck allocation and minimising process delays with in-shift, real-time operational performance management and increased integration through the outbound supply chain.

With a continued focus on safety in FY2020, Queensland Coal achieved its lowest ever total recordable injury frequency rate and BMA achieved a step change across lead and lag indicators attributed to the implementation of key work programs enabling alignment of health and safety procedures across all operations and through investment in the implementation of more than 120 additional hard controls.

Looking ahead

Queensland Coal will continue to focus on safety with BMA further embedding the programs and standards implemented in FY2020, and further investment in hard controls. BMC will work to continue improving safety outcomes through field leadership, hazard reporting and risk management at the South Walker Creek and Poitrel Mines, and the Red Mountain coal handling preparation plant.

For BMA, strong asset-level alignment of operating discipline and integrated operational plans ensure we focus on maximising value through the supply chain. This will be achieved by focusing on bottleneck processes to smooth coal flows leveraging latent coal handling preparation plant and logistics capacity. Medium-term plans remain focused on lifting trucking performance to benchmark rates thereby leveraging the benefits of our transformation program and achieving results in the areas implemented.

Autonomous trucks are being implemented at two Queensland Coal sites. Daunia with 34 autonomous trucks and Goonyella Riverside with 86 autonomous trucks. Deployment at both sites is expected to be completed early in CY2022.

BMC will also plan to focus on improving truck and shovel productivity to ensure optimal utilisation of the coal handling preparation plants, and continue to prioritise low-capital debottlenecking opportunities. BMC will plan to mitigate short-term COVID-19-related price impacts by reducing high cost production and capital expenditure, but retain the ability to respond should higher prices emerge.

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