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The Coppabella Coal mine is located 140 kilometres south west of Mackay in Queensland in the rich coal producing region of the Bowen Basin, near the little townships of Moranbah and Nebo. It is an open pit and operated in the conventional manner of strip mining utilising excavators, shovels and trucks.

Low Volatile Pulverised Coal Injection

The Coppabella mine produces a low-volatile pulverised coal injection (PCI) product specifically for the export market. This is a more cost efficient coal that helps reduce the consumption of the more expensive coke in the production of iron and steel. The injecting of pulverised coal into a furnace lessens the amount of coke required and thereby lowers the operating cost in the making of pig iron and crude steel. Most steel manufacturers are now utilising a coal injecting system into their blast furnace operations. Chinese steel manufacturers have always used a low volatile hard anthracite (coal) for pulverised coal injection purposes as it is a cheaper method when compared to the installation of a coke oven. One tonne of low volatile PCI coal replaces one and a half tonne of expensive coking coal. The high demand for coke around the world has created a shortage and therefore increased its price. The use of low volatile PCI coal, such as that produced at the Coppabella mine, is therefore a way of combating this shortage.

Production Levels Closing in on Full Capacity

The Coppabella mine began producing coal for the export market in 1988 and now has a capacity of producing almost five million tonnes a year. It actually obtained a production level of 3.2 million tonnes in 2012 and this is expected to increase to four million tonnes in 2014. Coppabella is actually an amalgamation of four separate pits; East Pit, South Creek and Johnson. The thickness of the average coal seams running through these pits is 10 metres and coal produced at the Coppabella mine is processed on site before being transported to a stockpile and railed to the terminal at Dalrymple Bay for shipping overseas.

A Mine Owner With a Community Consciousness

The Coppabella mine was previously owned by Macarthur Coal Limited, however, Macarthur's 73 percent ownership has been acquired by global miner Peabody through its Australian subsidiary Peabody Energy Australia PCI and it is now employs around 550 people, contractors included. The company is proud of its community consciousness and supports many local events and causes such as the Nebo Bushmans Carnival, the Coppabella state school and the RACQ Central Queensland Rescue helicopter.

Mining and Rehabilitation Working Close Together

Coppabella open cut mining operations consists of a dragline, shovel, excavators and trucks. The electrically driven shovel pre-strips and removes the overburden after it is first drilled and blasted to expose the coal seams. The exposed coal deposit is then mined with hydraulic excavators. The coal is taken from the pit with coal trucks to either a general stockpile, or the ROM (Run of Mine) storage. From there it is taken to the coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) to be made ready for transportation to the coast for export.

Rehabilitation of the land area as mining moves on is also carried out as soon as possible after it is mined out. In 2011 alone 321 hectares were rehabilitated at Coppabella and the latest reports show that the ecosystem that was involved in the rehabilitation is currently both diverse and robust.

Peabody Energy

From humble beginnings, a 24 year old Francis. S Peabody started selling high quality coal to homes and businesses throughout Chicago in 1883 from the back of his cart. Within 7 years Francis opened his first coal mine in Williamson County.In 1903 Peabody won its first coal supply agreement with more


Peabody Energy
100 Melbourne Street
South Brisbane, QLD 4000


Phone07 3225 5500
fax07 3225 5555

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