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Australia’s NSW Approves Boggabri Coal Mine Expansion

Australia’s Boggabri open-cut coal mine in Newcastle has been granted approval by the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Planning and Environment for an expansion expected to extend its lifespan by three years, which will result in higher output.

The modification project is expected to extend the mine’s lifespan from the end of 2033 to the end of 2036. This will produce an additional 28.1mn t of run-of-mine coal output during the period by increasing the approved maximum depth of mining at the mine’s Templemore coal seam, the NSW state government said in a report published last month.

The mine currently produces up to 7mn t/yr of saleable coal, producing mainly lower ash, high-volatile, low-sulphur material, as well as pulverised coal injection (PCI) coal and semi-soft coking coal.

The modification application was formally amended to reduce the amount of additional coal proposed to be extracted from 61.5mn t to 28.1mn t, with a reduction in the proposed mine life extension from six to three years.

The project will also require approval from the federal government because of the potential impact on water resources, with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment carrying out the impact assessment on behalf of the government, the report said.

Idemitsu Australia, through its subsidiary company Boggabri Coal, owns 80pc of the mine, while fellow Japanese firm Chugoku Electric Power Australia Resources and NS Boggabri each own 10pc. The mine is currently operated by Boggabri Coal Operations.

Argus last assessed the high-CV NAR 6,000 kcal/kg coal market at $132.61/t fob Newcastle on 12 January, with the high-ash NAR 5,500 kcal/kg coal market at $93.71/t fob Newcastle.

The Argus daily fob Australia assessment for low-volatile PCI was assessed at $189.45/t on 17 January.

Australia exported 183mn t of thermal coal and 137mn t of coking coal during January-November 2023, according to Australia Bureau of Statistics data.