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The Blair Athol Mine is now being rehabilitated by its joint venture owners; Queensland Coal Pty Ltd (Rio Tinto) 57.2 percent, Leichardt Coal Pty Ltd 31 percent, J-Power Australia Pty Ltd eight percent and JCD Australia Pty Ltd 3.4 percent, after the mine was closed on November 23, 2012. Mine operator Rio Tinto Coal has continued to manage the coal mining site that produced its first coal product 28 years previously, on April 6, 1984.

The former Blair Athol coal mine is located 24 kilometres north west of the Central Queensland Bowen Basin town of Clermont. During the mine's 28 years of continuous operation it had sold high quality thermal coal to its Asian and European customers.

The site of the Blair Athol Mine was originally part of the Blair Athol Station, a pastoralist property owned by Scotland born James McLaren. The name of the property was made in honour of his Scottish birthplace. Coal was first discovered at Blair Athol Station as early as 1864 but mining of the deposit didn't occur until 1984 after a long term contract was agreed to between Pacific Coal (Blair Athol Coal), Electric Power Company of Japan and the Japan Coal Development Company Limited for the supply of 72 million tonnes of coal over the following 15 years.

The Blair Athol mine was expanded to increase its potential coal production to 12 million tonnes a year in the 1990's. High quality thermal coal production averaged around 10 million tonnes a year for the next 20 years with the most ever produced occurring in 2009 when production peaked at 11.3 million tonnes for the year.

Since the closure of the Blair Athol coal mine its infrastructure facilities have been used by Rio Tinto's neighbouring Clermont coal mine. This infrastructure includes coal stockpiles and the train load out facility. In April 2013 it was announced that Rio Tinto had placed both the Blair Athol and Clermont assets up for sale.

The Blair Athol Mine had produced almost 250 million tonnes of coal over its 28 year lifetime, although production had been scaled back significantly over its final five years, as its main coal seam was being mined out. At its peak the mine employed over 400 people and was an economical mainstay for the region despite it operating with minimal infrastructure and equipment. The mine was well known for having one of the thickest (30 metre deep) coal seam in Australia. It was also proud of having the latest in excavating equipment, particularly the worlds biggest 'super dozer.'

During its productive life the Blair Athol Mine spent over $1.4 billion with local businesses. It was also prominent in the construction of much needed community facilities such as recreation and sewage facilities, the Theresa Creek Dam, roads and much needed local government infrastructure.

Rehabilitation of the Blair Athol Mine is expected to take from three to five years. Rio Tinto will retain responsibility after rehabilitation is complete for the purposes of carrying out ongoing monitoring and to carry out any further remediation work that may arise from time to time.

Update- October 2013- The Blair Athol coal mine in central Queensland that was closed in November 2012 after 30 years of production has been given away by its owner Rio Tinto to Linc Energy.

There is only a limited amount of coal left to be extracted from the mine, an estimated 10 million tonnes. This would give the mine a life of three years if three million tonnes a year were to be mined, under the new ownership.

The re-opening of the mine will create around 100 local jobs.

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a major producer of iron ore, coal, bauxite, alumina, aluminium, uranium, copper, gold, diamonds, salt and energy across the globe. Businesses include open pit and underground mines, refineries, smelters, mills and power stations. Also a number of research facilities more


Rio Tinto
152-158 St George s Terrace
Perth, WA 6000



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