The coal and gas proposals

In Australia, right now dozens of new coal and gas proposals are currently sitting on our Environment Minister’s desk awaiting federal approval.

The evidence is clear: These proposals would have immense and irreversible impacts on our climate.

ECoCeQ’s evidence demonstrates that the climate impact of these proposal would harm thousands of matters of environment significance, including threatened plants and animals, World and National Heritage areas, Ramsar wetlands, Commonwealth marine environments, marine species, migratory species, threatened ecological communities and the Great Barrier Reef.

In July 2022, ECoEeQ submitted reconsideration requests for 19 coal and gas proposals pending federal approval. Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek found these legal requests valid, and is now accepting public comments on eighteen of these projects.

You may be wondering why the Minister is only accepting comments on 18 projects. The 19th is the Central Queensland Coal Project and this mine is being dealt with separately. The Minister has previously indicated her intention to reject it, (as Queensland has!) but ECoCeQ is still waiting on a decision, and eagerly awaits the Minister’s announcement that this project will not be going ahead.

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  • North West Shelf Extension – Woodside Energy – Pilbara, WA

    Woodside proposes to extend the operating life of the onshore and offshore facilities at its North West Shelf  Extension, so it can keep processing gas and liquified natural gas until 2070. 

    This would fuel more than 4 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions for the next 50 years. Over its operations, it would contribute more than 8 times Australia’s annual emissions, as reported to the UNFCCC in 2021. (Source)

    Situated in the northwest of Western Australia in the Pilbara, near the city of Karratha, the energy giant’s North West Shelf is already Australia’s largest producing gas project. The existing project includes key processing, storage and offloading facilities.

    The proponent estimates the scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions from the proposal as follows:

    • Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be up to 7.7 Mtpa CO2-e (unmitigated). Total scope 1 emissions over the 50-year life of the extension proposal (with no mitigation) are expected to be 385 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2-e7. With mitigation presented in the proponent’s GHG management plan, Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions from the extension proposal are estimated to commence at 7.7 Mtpa of CO2-e; achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 by reducing life of extension proposal emissions by 246.15 Mt of CO2-e; be partially offset through the purchase and surrender of offsets to make up any shortfall in achieving the net scope 1 GHG emissions reduction targets through avoidance and reduction actions; result in net scope 1 GHG emissions over the 50-year life of the extension proposal of up to 138.85 Mt of CO2-e.
    • Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be less than 0.002 Mtpa CO2-e
    • Scope 3 emissions from third-party consumption of LNG, LPG, Domgas and condensate, will be approximately 80.19 Mtpa of CO2-e based on currently available and quantifiable information.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

     

  • Narrabri coal mine expansion – Whitehaven Coal – north western NSW

    Whitehaven wants to extend underground mining operations at the existing Narrabri Underground mine near Narrabri, NSW, in the Gunnedah Coalfield.

    Narrabri Coal Operations Pty Limited is proposing an extension to the approved underground mining area to gain access to additional coal reserves which would increase the mine life to 2044, an additional 13 years.

    The Proposed Project will involve the extraction of an additional approximately 82 million tonnes of coal.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

     

  • Alpha North Coal Mine Project – Waratah Coal – Galilee Basin, western Qld

    Clive Palmer’s company Waratah Coal proposes to construct and operate a coal mine over two mining areas, Mining Area North and Mining Area South.

    The mine, in the Galilee Basin approximately 210 kilometres north-west of Emerald, Queensland, will comprise four underground longwalls in Mining Area North, and two open cut pits and four underground longwalls in Mining Area South, as well as associated infrastructure.

    The proposed mine would cover an area of 144,000 hectares – the size of about 200 soccer fields.

    The mine would extract and combust approximately 56 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of run-of-mine (ROM) thermal coal, with 72% yield to give a product quantity of 40 Mtpa per mining area.

    The proposal aims to commence in 2027, with mining operations to start in 2030 and continue for approximately 30 years.

    The total amount of coal mined under this proposal will be approximately 2.4 billion tonnes (Bt).

    The total of combustion CO2 emissions for this coal is estimated to be 5.832 billion tonnes.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

     

  • Gas Supply Security Project, Australia Pacific LNG – Surat and Bowen Basins, central and south-west Qld

    In 2020, Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG), sought approval to drill new gas wells across central and south-west Queensland.

    In 2022, their proposal was varied – although the project is still proposed to cover a mammoth 377.725 hectares of land across the Surat and Bowen Basin in Queensland.

    The designated proponent is AustraliaPacific LNG, while Origin Upstream Operator Pty Ltd (Origin Energy) is the upstream operator.

    This proposal involves the construction, operation, decommissioning and rehabilitation of  new coal seam gas wells and associated infrastructure, including 6,800 km of gas and water pipelines, 16 combined gas processing and water management facilities and supporting infrastructure.

    The proposal is intended to supply gas to the Australian east coast domestic gas market as well exporting LNG to the existing Australia Pacific LNG Project.

    Construction is proposed to begin in 2024 with operations starting in 2025 and continuing until approximately 2061, although the proponent also gives an end date of 2075.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

     

  • Valeria Project – Glencore's subsidiary Valeria Coal Holdings – Bowen Basin, central, Qld

    Glencore’s subsidiary Valeria Coal Holdings proposes to construct and operate an open cut metallurgical and thermal coal mine, accommodation, access road and associated infrastructure, as part of the overarching Valeria Project, approximately 27 km north of Emerald, Queensland.

    The Proposed Project is expected to produce up to 20 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of Run of Mine (ROM) coal over an operational life of approximately 35 years.

    The volume of coal product will approximate 14-16 million tonnes per annum.

    The total amount of product coal for the life of the Proposed Project, based on the figures above, will be approximately 490–560 million tonnes (Mt).

    The total of combustion CO2 emissions for the product coal of the Proposed Project is estimated to be 1.19 – 1.36 billion tonnes CO2.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

     

  • The Range Project – Stanmore Coal – Surat Basin, central Qld

    The Range Project is a proposed open-cut coal mine and processing facilities 35 km south east of Wandoan in central Queensland’s Surat Basin.

    Stanmore Coal proposes the development of a green-field open cut coal mine, producing between  six  and seven  million  tonnes  per  annum  (Mtpa)  of  thermal coal for export.

    • The estimated maximum annual Scope 1 and 2 emissions for the Proposed Project are 301,137t CO2-e , or 7.83 Mt CO2-e over the estimated 26 year life of the Project.
    • No estimate for  Scope  3  emissions  has  been  publicly  provided,  however  the  total  of  combustion CO2 emissions from the product coal of the Proposed Project is estimated to be 379.08-442.26 Mt CO2.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

     

  • Ensham coal mine life extension – Idemitsu – Bowen Basin, central Qld

    Ensham coal mine has been digging up 4.5 million tonnes of thermal coal every year since 1993. Its owners, Idemitsu Australia, have applied for the life of the open-cut mine to be extended a further nine years to 2037.

    The company proposes to develop and extend the operation of the Ensham Mine, an open-cut and underground board and pillar coal mine located on Mining Leases 7459 and 70365, located approximately 35 km east of Emerald, in the western part of the central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

    The proposed project seeks to extract thermal coal at a planned production rate of up to approximately 4.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), expected to enable the extension of the life of the Ensham Mine from 2028 by up to nine years, and is estimated to produce 38 million tonnes (Mt) of thermal product coal for export to Asian markets.

    • The estimated total of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions over the life of the mine from the Proposed Project alone are 8.64 Mt CO2-e.6
    • Scope 3 emissions have not been reported for the Proposed Project, however a total of combustion CO2 emissions from the product coal of the Proposed Project is estimated to be 92.34 Mt CO2.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

     

  • Baralaba South Coal Project – Mount Ramsay Coal Company – Bowen Basin, central Qld

    The Mount Ramsay Coal Company proposes to construct and operate an open cut coal mine and associated infrastructure, 10km south of Baralaba in the Bowen Basin, Queensland.

    The company wants to produce up to 5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) run-of-mine (ROM) pulverised coal injection and thermal coal, with an operational life of at least 20 years.

    It is anticipated that with additional drilling and refinement of extraction and production schedules from further technical and financial studies, the final operational life will be between 30-40 years for completion of the Proposed Project.

    In total, this proposal is to mine an estimated 91 million tonnes (Mt) of ROM coal, producing approximately 75 Mt of product coal.

    The total of the combustion CO2 emissions from the product coal of the Proposed Project is estimated to be 182.25 million tonnes of CO2.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

     

  • Spur Hill Underground Coking Coal Project – Spur Hill Management – Upper Hunter Valley, NSW

    Since at least 2014, Spur Hill owner Malabar Coal has been proposing to undertake underground coal mining operations east of Denman and southwest of Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter Valley, New South Wales. 

    The company proposes to mine eight million tonnes of coal every year for 25 years.

    The Proposed Project would involve the extraction of up to 8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) run-of-mine (ROM) coal with an approximate total of 154 million tonnes (Mt) of thermal and metallurgical coal over the life of the Proposed Project.

    The total of combustion CO2 emissions for the product coal of the Proposed Project is conservatively estimated to be 262 Mt CO2.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

  • China Stone Coal Mine Project – Macmines Austasia – Galilee Basin, central Qld

    MacMines Austasia Pty Ltd is proposing the construction and operation of a large-scale coal mine on a greenfield site in Central Queensland.

    The project site is located approximately 270 km south of Townsville and 300 km west of Mackay at the northern end of the Galilee Basin.

    The Proposed Project will involve the extraction and combustion of approximately 55 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of Run of Mine (ROM) thermal coal, equating to approximately 38 Mtpa of thermal product coal for the export market.

    The referral contemplates the mine life being approximately 50 years.

    Therefore, it can be expected that the mine will produce 1,900 million tonnes (Mt) of product coal over the life of the mine. The total of combustion CO2 emissions from the product coal of the Proposed Project is estimated to be 4,617 Mt CO2.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

  • Moorlands open cut coal mining project – Cuesta Coal – Bowen Basin, central Qld

    Cuesta Coal Pty Ltd’s proposal is to construct and operate an open cut coal mine, nine-kilometre dedicated haul road, train loading facility and associated infrastructure in the Western Bowen Basin, approximately 250 kilometres south-west of Mackay, Queensland.

    The Proposed Project would involve extraction of approximately 1.9 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of run-of mine thermal coal, totalling 57 million tonnes (Mt) over a 30 year operation.

    The proponent estimates a yield of 89%, or 1.7 Mtpa, totalling 51 Mt of coal over the three decades.

    The combustion CO2 emissions for the project’s coal is estimated to be 123.9 Mt CO2.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

  • Saraji East coal mining project – BHP Billiton Mitsubishi BM Alliance – central Qld

    BM Alliance Coal Operations (a joint venture of BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi) proposes to develop and operate an underground coal mine, north of Dysart and 167 kilometres south-west of Mackay, in the Bowen Basin, Queensland.

    The Proposed Project includes a Coal Handling and Preparation Plant and associated Mine Industrial Area, both located on the site of the existing adjacent Saraji Open-Cut Coal Mine.

    BM Alliance wants to extract up to 7 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of metallurgical product coal for the export market over 25 to 30 years.

    The designated proponent has published anticipated Scope 1 and 2 emissions over 20 years (noting that the referral Proposed Project will likely continue for 25-30 years), estimated at 16.3 million tonnes (Mt) CO2-e of Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

    The total amount of coal mined in this proposal, based on the figures above, will be between 175 – 210 Mt.

    The total of combustion CO2 emissions from this coal is estimated to be 578.34 Mt.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

  • Winchester South coal mine project – Whitehaven – central Qld

    Located 30km south-east of Moranbah, Queensland, Whitehaven’s Winchester South project proposes to construct and operate an open cut coal mine, rail spur, access road, and associated infrastructure in central Queensland, for approximately 30 years.

    Whitehaven wants to include the use of conventional open cut mining equipment to extract run-of-mine (ROM) coal, producing for export a mix of coal products including metallurgical coal for use in the steel production industry and thermal coal.

    This would involve the extraction of approximately 15 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of ROM coal (with an upper limit of 17 Mtpa) for approximately 30 years.

    The total, life-of mine, Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions associated with the Proposed Project are 15.6 Mt CO2-e.

    The total, run-of-mine, Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions associated with the Proposed Project are 531.78 Mt CO2-e.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

  • Lake Vermont Meadowbrook Coal Mine Project – Bowen Basin Coal – central Qld

    While the existing Lake Vermont coal mine winds down, its owners propose to expand the mine to run for another 20 years.

    Bowen Basin Coal proposes to construct and operate a double-seam underground longwall coal mine, three open-cut pits and associated infrastructure in the Bowen Basin, approximately 30 kilometres North-East of Dysart, Queensland

    The Proposed Project is expected to produce up to 7 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of run of mine (ROM) coal, equivalent to approximately 5.5 Mtpa of metallurgical and thermal product coal (for export and domestic market) over a life of approximately 25 years.

    This equals a total of 137.5 million tonnes (Mt) of product coal over the life of the mine. The total of combustion CO2 emissions for the product coal of the Proposed Project is estimated to be 334.13 million tonnes of CO2.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

  • Mount Pleasant Optimisation Project – MACH Energy Australia – Upper Hunter, NSW

    MACH Energy proposes to mine deeper at its Muswellbrook Mount Pleasant mine site in its bid to double its annual extraction and extend its life by more than 20 years.

    It wants to increase the open cut coal extraction within its existing open cut coal mine, including accessing deeper coal reserves and continued use of the controlled release dam and associated infrastructure that was approved through Bengalla Mine State and Federal approvals, and to extend the life of the mine from 2026 to 2048.

    The Mount Pleasant Project is located approximately three kilometres north-west of Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

    The proposal would involve the extraction and combustion of approximately 21 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of run-of-mine (ROM) coal (i.e. progressive increase in ROM coal mining rate from 10.5 Mtpa over the Project life).

    Mining operations at this higher production rate would extend to December 2048, extracting in total approximately 406 Mt of ROM coal, or approximately 444 Mt over the life of the Mount Pleasant.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

  • Boggabri coal mine expansion – Idemitsu – northern NSW

    Due to be shut down in 2033, Idemitsu wants to extend the life of its Boggabri open-cut coal mine in New South Wales’ Leard State Forest by an extra six years to 2039.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

  • Meandu Mine King 2 East Project – TEC Coal (Stanwell) – south east Qld

    Meandu Mine is an open-cut coal mine on Mining Lease (ML) 6674, approximately 14 km south-west of Nanango, Queensland, that is currently operated for the purpose of supplying thermal coal to the adjacent Tarong and Tarong North power stations (Tarong Power Stations).

    Stanwell’s subsidiary TEC Coal proposes to expand the existing Meandu Mine within the ML 6674 area to allow for the progression of the King 2 East pit and associated infrastructure.

    The company proposes extraction from the King 2 East pit to maintain Meandu Mine’s total extraction of approximately no more than 11 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of thermal coal. Current supply for combustion at the associated Tarong Power Stations is approximately 7 Mtpa.

    It proposes to commence development in 2022-2023, with extraction from the King 2 East to commence in 2024 and extend until approximately 2037-2039.

    The total amount of product coal for the expected 15 year life of the Proposed Project, will be approximately 105 million tonnes (Mt). The total of combustion CO2 emissions from the product coal of the Proposed Project is estimated to be 255.15 Mt CO2.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

  • Caval Ridge Mine Horse Pit Extension – BHP Mitsubishi Alliance – Bowen Basin, central Qld

    BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s proposes to extend the Caval Ridge Coal Mine and operate it for more than three decades, to 2056.

    BM Alliance proposes to construct and operate an extension to the existing Caval Ridge Coal Mine (CVM) Horse Pit, approximately 5 km south west of Moranbah in the Bowen Basin, Queensland.

    The CVM is an open cut mining operation that supplies hard coking coal product for the export market.

    The Proposed Project will extend one of the two CVM pits and will involve extraction and combustion of approximately 15 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of run-of-mine (ROM) coal.

    The proposal aims to commence in 2025 and extend to 2055. The mining schedule indicates extraction of approximately 158.3 million tonnes of coal over the life of the Proposed Project.

    The total combustion CO2 emissions for the product coal of the Proposed Project is estimated to be 440.64 million CO2.

    Until 24 November, Minister Plibersek is accepting public comments about this project. Will you share your views?

  • Styx Coal Project – Central Queensland Coal – central Qld

    Note:  The Central Queensland Coal Project is being dealt with separately. The Minister has previously indicated her intention to reject it, (as Queensland has!) but ECoCeQ is still waiting on a decision, and eagerly awaits the Minister’s announcement that this project will not be going ahead. 

    Clive Palmer’s Queensland Coal Pty Ltd proposes to construct and operate an open cut coal mine, train load out facility and associated infrastructure 130 km northwest of Rockhampton, central Queensland.

    The company wants to extract and combust approximately 2 million tonnes of coal per  annum (Mtpa) with options increasing to 5 to 10 Mtpa of high grade thermal coal (HGTC) and/or semi-soft coking coal (SSCC).

    The total of proposed coal has previously been estimated by the Proponent to be 80% of the total run of mine coal. Approximately 64 Mt of ROM coal would be mined over this period. This coal resource is estimated to produce a total of 51 Mt of product coal for export.

    The proposal aimed to commence in 2018 and extend for approximately 20 – 25 years until the current reserve is depleted.

    The total, life-of-mine, greenhouse gas emissions associated with this proposal alone is 3,450 kt CO2-e.5 The total of the combustion CO2 emissions for coal from this project is estimated to be 123.93 million tonnes.

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She invites you to join her, calling on Minister Tanya Plibersek listen to climate science, and act.