• Coking Black Coal
  • Mines Producing Coking Black Coal

Also Known As : Black Coal - Anthracite - Coking Coal

Metallurgical coal is a high quality kind of black coal that is mostly used to make coke, which is a material used in the steel making process. In Australia, the term black coal covers a wide range of coals varying from the most mature form of coal, anthracite, and includes the next grades of coal, bituminous and sub bituminous coals. Metallurgical coal is a bituminous coal. Black coal is older than brown coal (thermal coal), and since it has been pressurised for many millions of years longer than brown coal, it has a lower moisture and higher carbon content. Metallurgical coal is thus much harder than brown coal, and more economically valuable due to its relative scarcity. Metallurgical coal contains 60-80% carbon, with the remaining parts made up of water, oxygen, minerals and gasses.

All coal starts as peat, which is a mixture of organic materials buried in a peat bog. The peat turns into lignite (brown coal), then takes many years to mature into black coal, and finally anthracite. And we do mean many years – each stage of coal has millions of years between it. Brown coal is between 15 and 50 million years old, whereas the oldest deposits of black coal in Australia are between 180 and 220 million years old. There are other black coals mined in Australia that are on the younger end of the spectrum, as young as 140 million years old, however there is still a huge age gap between these coal seams and the brown coal seams that are mined in Victoria.

Australia’s Resources
Metallurgical coal is found all around Australia, with the major deposits in NSW and Queensland. Australia is one of the few countries that exports metallurgical coal, because most countries consume what little they produce. Australia, on the other hand, exports the majority of the metallurgical coal it produces, with almost 40% of exports going to Japan. Globally, the biggest reserves of metallurgical coal are found in China, and they produce over half the global output of metallurgical coal. While estimation of resources is difficult and depends on exploration and inference, recent estimates show that Australia has 6-7% of global recoverable black coal resources, ranking it 5th behind the USA, Russia, China and India. Australia also produced 6% of black goal globally in 2010, ranking it fourth, far behind China’s 51%, but not so far from the USA’s 16% and India’s 9%.

Metallurgical coal is mined the same ways as other coals, however bituminous coal tends to contain larger amounts of gas than other coal. This gas can lead to underground explosions, hence mining black coals takes greater care and management. The same methods are still used, and depending in the depth of the coal being mined, open cut or underground mining is chosen. The most effective of these is the longwall approach, which uses hydraulic supports to hold the roof of a mine while large blocks of coal are removed. The roof is then allowed to fall, closing the mine. Open-cut mining is useful when the coal seam is close to the surface, and recovers higher amounts of coal than underground mining methods.

Metallurgical coal is mostly turned into coke, which is used for making steel. Metallurgical coal is categorised into coking coal or PCI, which is pulverised coal injection; both of these are used in making steel. Of all the metallurgical coal mined globally, nearly 75% of that goes into steel production. The remaining amount goes into smelting other metals.

The coking process removes volatile parts of the coal by heating the coal to temperatures exceeding 1,000 degrees Celsius. This process fuses the carbon and residual ash, while removing water, gasses and material impurities that cause volatility. This heating is done in the absence of oxygen so that the gasses being removed do not burn or explode. The coke that is formed through this process is a tough, grey, porous product that is then put into a blasting furnace, where it converts iron ore into molten iron, which is called pig iron. When the resulting pig iron is fed into a blast oxygen furnace, it becomes crude steel.

The other kind of metallurgical coal used in in steel manufacture is PCI coal, which is crushed to a powder then injected into blast furnaces. This replaces the coke in producing pig iron. Both coking coal and PCI coal have very high carbon contents.

Australian Mines that produce Coking Black Coal

North Goonyella ( QLD )

The North Goonyella – Eaglefield coal mining operation comprises an underground and open pit mine 50 kilometres from Glenden in Central Queensland.

Appin ( NSW )

The Appin underground coal mine in New South Wales extracts coal from the Bulli seam . This seam produces hard coking coal for the steel industry.

Austar ( NSW )

Yancoal introduces new technology, Longwall Top Coal Caving (LTCC), to its Austar underground mine in the Lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

Berrima ( NSW )

The Berrima underground black coal mine in the Southern Highlands of NSW is believed to be the smallest commercial coal mine still operating in Australia.

Bloomfield ( NSW )

The Bloomfield Colliery black coal mine near Maitland is one of the oldest continuous operating open pit mines in the Hunter Valley Region of NSW.

Bulga ( NSW )

The Bulga coal mining operations consist of two mines, one being an open cut and the other an underground mine as well as a coal handling preparation plant.

Dendrobium ( NSW )

The Dendrobium underground coal mine near Wollongong in NSW is named after an orchid of the same name which is common to the Illawarra area.

Duralie ( NSW )

The Duralie open cut coal mine that began production in March 2003, is owned by Chinese miner Yancoal and operated under contract by Leighton Mining.

Glendell ( NSW )

The Glendell black coal open cut mine is approved to produce 3.6 million tonnes a year of run-of-mine (ROM) coal for Xstrata Coal.

Hunter Valley Complex ( NSW )

The Hunter Valley Complex near Singleton in New South Wales is owned and operated by Coal and Allied, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Coal Australia.

Invincible ( NSW )

Invincible Colliery and Cullen Valley Mine, both privately owned by Coalpac Pty Ltd, have been placed in care and maintenance since 2013, with coal reserves either exhausted or uneconomic.

Ivanhoe North ( NSW )

The small Ivanhoe North coal mine in the Ben Bullen State Forest near Lithgow in New South Wales ceased operating in 2012.

Liddell ( NSW )

Liddell Coal, the operators of the Liddell coal mine at Ravensworth in the Hunter Valley Region of NSW, is owned by Glencore Xstrata and Mitsui Matsushima.

Metropolitan ( NSW )

The Metropolitan Mine in NSW has been in continuous operation for over 125 years, making it the oldest continually operating coal mine in Australia.

Moolarben ( NSW )

The Moolarben Coal complex that is located in the Hunter Valley Region of New South Wales, near Mudgee, is majority owned by Yancoal Australia Pty Ltd.

Mt Owen ( NSW )

The Mount Owen black coal open pit at Singleton in New South Wales is one of the deepest coal mining pits in Australia.

Mt Thorley ( NSW )

Mount Thorley Warkworth is the integration of two open cut coal mines in the New South Wales Hunter Valley 15 kilometres south of Singleton.

Nre No1 ( NSW )

Indian company, Gujarat NRE Coke, acquired the NRE No 1 colliery in 2004 to provide a steady supply of high quality coke for its Indian operations.

Nre Wongawilli ( NSW )

NRE Wongawilli coal mine in the Southern Coalfields of New South Wales is now fully owned by Indian company Gujarat NRE Coking Coal Limited.

Ravensworth Ug ( NSW )

The Ravensworth underground coal mine, a joint venture between Resource Pacific Pty Limited and Posco, has been managed by Xstrata Coal since February 2008

Rixs Creek ( NSW )

The Rixs Creek open cut black coal mine at Singleton NSW was opened in 1990 to produce both high quality and thermal coal for local consumption and export

Springvale ( NSW )

The Springvale underground coal mine, one of the highest mines in Australia at 921 metres above sea level, is located 120 kilometres north west of Sydney.

Tasman ( NSW )

The Tasman underground coal mine near Maitland in NSW has improved mine safety by successfully introducing the Duncan technique in partial pillar removal.

Ulan ( NSW )

Ulan Coal Mines Limited in the NSW Western Coalfields consist of two underground mines, Ulan No 3 and Ulan West, as well as an open cut coal reserve.

Warkworth ( NSW )

The Warkworth open cut coal mine near Bulga in the Hunter Valley Region of NSW is fighting for its life to overturn a decision to not allow expansion.

West Cliff ( NSW )

West Cliff Colliery's expansion project approval has extended its mine life for another 30 years and given certainty to local steel mills and power generation.

West Wallsend ( NSW )

The West Wallsend underground coal mine in New South Wales runs under the F3 Freeway near Cockle Creek 110 kilometres north east of Sydney.

Goonyella Riverside ( QLD )

The Goonyella open cut black coal mine near Moranbah in Queensland is well known for its production of coking coal that is ideal for steel making.

Hail Creek ( QLD )

The Hail Creek coal mine in Central Queensland that was hit hard by severe monsoonal rain in 2010 and Cyclone Yasi in 2011 is back on track.

Baralaba ( QLD )

Coal mined at the Baralaba open pit mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin is exported from the port at Gladstone to steel mills in Asia.

Blackwater ( QLD )

The Blackwater coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin, one of the largest open cut coal mines in Australia, produces 14 million tonnes of coal annually.

Carborough Downs ( QLD )

The Carborough Downs underground coal mine in the Bowen Basin Region of NSW produces semi-hard, hard and PCI coal for international steel makers.

Collinsville ( QLD )

The Collinsville coal mine in the Bowen Basin Region of Queensland is part of the NCA Joint Venture partnership, majority owned by GlencoreXstrata.

Cook ( QLD )

The Cook Colliery was acquired by Caledon Resources from Xstrata in 2006, since then it has been mined under an innovative new underground mining technology.

Coppabella ( QLD )

The Coppabella open cut coal mine produces PCI (pulverised coal injection) coal that is transported to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal for export.

Crinum ( QLD )

The Crinum underground coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin was developed in 1997 as a replacement mine for the ailing Gregory open cut mine nearby.

Curragh ( QLD )

The Curragh Open Cut Coal Mine, in the Bowen Basin Region of Queensland, is a residential mine located near the town of Blackwater, two hours from Rockhampton.

Dawson ( QLD )

The Dawson open cut black coal mine in the Southern Bowen Basin Region of Central Queensland consists of three pits; South, Central and North.

German Creek ( QLD )

The German Creek coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin, that is operated by Capcoal, is part of a group of two open cut and two underground mines.

German Creek East ( QLD )

German Creek East, that has extend southward to include Oak Park, is operated by Capcoal on behalf majority owner Anglo American Coal.

Isaac Plains ( QLD )

The Isaac Plains coal mine, in the Bowen Basin Region of Queensland, is a 50/50 joint venture between Brazillian company Vale and Japanese based Sumitomo.

Jellinbah East ( QLD )

The Jellinbah East coal mine in Queensland is part of the Jellinbah East Joint Venture that consists of Jellinbah Group, Marubeni Coal and Sojitz Coal.

Kestrel ( QLD )

The Kestrel underground coal mine extension in the Bowen Basin Region of Queensland got underway in 2013. It will extent the life of mine by 20 years.

Lake Lindsay ( QLD )

When the Girrah coal deposit at German Creek in the Bowen Basin was acquired by Anglo Coal in 2003 it marked the start of the Lake Lindsay Project.

Lake Vermont ( QLD )

The Lake Vermont coal mine in the Bowen Basin Region of Queensland is a joint venture between the Jellinbah Group, Marubeni Coal, Sojitz Coal and AMCI.

Middlemount ( QLD )

Queensland coal mine, Middlemount, once a jewell in the Tinkler crown, is currently operated as a joint venture operation involving Peabody and Yancoal.

Millenium ( QLD )

The Millennium coal mine, 170 kilometres west of Mackay in the Bowen Basin Region of Queensland, is owned and operated by Peabody Energy Australia.

Moorvale ( QLD )

Moorvale open cut coal mine in Queensland is owned by Peabody with its strip/terrace mining operations handled by Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd.

Moranbah North ( QLD )

The Moranbah North underground black coal mine in the Bowen Basin Region of Queensland mines the Goonyella Middle Seam 200 metres below the surface.

New Oakleigh ( QLD )

The New Oakleigh coal mine near Rosewood in Queensland ceased all mining activity on Friday January 25, 2013, after 65 years of continual operation.

Newlands ( QLD )

Proposed extensions to the Newlands coal mine in Queensland will extend the life of the mine to 2038 with the retention of equipment and the current workforce.

Oaky Creek ( QLD )

Glencore Xstrata have cut 150 jobs from the Oaky Creek underground mine in the Bowen Basin of Central Queensland as mining costs rise and coal prices fall.

Peak Downs ( QLD )

The owner of the Peak Downs coal mine in Queensland, BMA, has changed its operating contractor from Leighton Holdings, to Perth based company HSE Mining.

Poitrel ( QLD )

The Poitrel open cut coal mine near Moranbah in Queensland's Bowen Basin, that began production in 2006, is one of BMA's most recent mining developments.

Saraji ( QLD )

BMA award pre-stripping contract at the Saraji open cut coal mine in the Bowen Basin Region of Queensland to Perth based mining contractor HSE Mining.

Suttor Creek ( QLD )

The Suttor Creek open cut coal mine is part of the Newlands mining operations that has undergone considerable extension to maintain coal its production level.

Yarrabee ( QLD )

Yarrabee coal mine produces both thermal and low volatile PCI coal for export to steel makers, power producers and heavy industry throughout the world.

Eaglefield Opencut Coal Mine ( QLD )

Eagle field open cut coal mine is on Peabody Coal's North Goonyella mine lease producing high quality coking coal

Cullenswood ( TAS )

The Cullenswood open cut black coal mine near the town of St Marys in Tasmania is operated by Cornwall Coal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cement Australia.

Duncan ( TAS )

The Duncan Colliery in the Fingal Valley Region of north east Tasmania has been in operation since 1945 producing coal for the Cornwall Coal Company.

Kimbolton ( TAS )

The Kimbolton coal mine near Hamilton in Tasmania is an on and off project that supplies coal to its owners, Cement Australia, when needed.

Broadmeadows ( QLD )

Extensions at the BMA owned Broadmeadows underground coal mine, 25 kilometres north of Moranbah in Queensland, has extended its mine life by 21 years.

Abel ( NSW )

The Abel underground coal mine is located 25 kilometres from the Newcastle port where its product is shipped to its Asian customers, primarily in China.

Integra Mine ( NSW )

The Integra (Glennies Creek) coal mining complex in New South Wales is located 12 kilometres from Singleton in the coal rich Upper Hunter Valley.

Minyango ( QLD )

The Minyango coal mining project in Queensland is owned by Chinese company Guangdong Rising Assets Management through its subsidiary Caledon Resources.

Maules Creek ( NSW )

Granted approval in July 2013 one of the last tier 1 coal projects left in australia with 30years lifespan and 362 million tonnes of recoverable coal

Integra Camberwell ( NSW )

The Integra open cut mine in NSW's Hunter Valley is known as the Camberwell Colliery (Integra Camberwell). It is part of the Integra Mine Complex.

Daunia ( QLD )

The official opening of the BMA operated Daunia open cut coal mine, in the Bowen Basin Region of Central Queensland, took place on September 4, 2013.

West Emerald ( QLD )

The West Emerald project is located 25 km north west the the Queensland Bowen Basin town of Emerald, adjacent to the Valeria and Taroborah coal deposits.

Montrose ( QLD )

The Montrose coal deposit between Rockhampton and Mackay in Queensland is being assessed by CuestaCoal for its thermal and coking coal export potential.

Grosvenor ( QLD )

The Grosvenor underground coal mine being constructed in the Bowen Basin Region of Queensland at Moranbah will begin production in 2016.

Caval Ridge ( QLD )

BMA's new Caval Ridge open cut coal mine, that is currently under construction with Bechtel, is located in Queensland's Bowen Basin, south west of Moranbah.

Bluff ( QLD )

The Bluff coal mining project that is located 20 kilometres east of Blackwater in Queensland's Bowen Basin is getting closer to the production stage.

Grosvenor West ( QLD )

The Grosvenor West open cut coal mining project in Queensland, planned to come online in 2015, has acquired a new owner, China owned,Wealth Mining Pty Ltd.

Carmichael ( QLD )

The Carmichael mine, rail and port project includes the construction of the largest thermal coal mine in Australia.

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Wicet ( QLD )

WICET, the first industry owned and privately funded project of such size in the history of Queensland, will be exporting coal in 2015.

Pike River ( NZ )

The New Zealand state owned coal mining company Solid Energy's purchase of the ill fated Pike River coal mine raises hope of recovering miners bodies.

Echo ( NZ )

The Echo open cut coal mine produces a low ash semi-soft coking coal on the New Zealand South Island's West Coast, within the Garvey Creek coalfield.

Roa ( NZ )

The ROA coal mine that is located on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand in the Greymouth Coalfield is owned by New Zealand Coal and Carbon.

Cascade ( NZ )

The Cascade coal mine has been in operation on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand for almost 100 years supplying the domestic market.

Aquila ( QLD )

The Aquila underground coal mine in central Queensland's Bowen Basin is to be commissioned in 2017 as a longwall mining operation.

Grasstree ( QLD )

The Grasstree underground coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin, that began production in 2002, produced its first long wall coal product in 2006.

Watermark ( NSW )

The Watermark open cut coal mining project near Gunnedah in New South Wales is Chinese company Shenhua's first major Australian operation

Elimatta ( QLD )

The Elimatta open cut thermal coal project is to be developed near the town of Taroom in southern Queensland by New Hope Group.

Byerwen ( QLD )

The Byerwen coal mining project in Queensland's central highlands has now received all the approvals required before being awarded a mining lease.

Cows ( QLD )

The Cows open cut coal mine in Queensland is part of QCoal Group's northern hub that includes other mines such as the Sonoma, Jax and Drake mines.

New Lenton ( QLD )

The New Lenton coal mining project is currently at the Environmental Impact Assessment stage and on the way for a 2016 start on construction.

Moranbah South ( QLD )

The Moranbah South underground coal mining project in Queensland, currently on hold, could employ up to 1,300 workers when operational.

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