The Coal Trader

Coal Markets Coal News Blackwater Mine

Blackwater Coal Mine Overview

The Blackwater Coal Mine is owned by the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA). It is located 24 kilometres south of Blackwater and 315 kilometres from the port at Gladstone in Queensland. It produces around 14 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal a year that is sold domestically as well as being exported out of Gladstone to; India, the Americas, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia.

The Blackwater Coal mines are Owned by BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi
Both the Blackwater and South Blackwater coal mines are operated as open cut mines and both are owned and operated by BMA, a company that is jointly owned by BHP Billiton Limited (80 percent)and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd (20 percent). The Blackwater Mine produces medium volatile thermal coal, medium volatile weak coking coal and medium volatile hard coking coal.

Blackwater Mine Produces 14 million Tonnes of Coal Annually
The Blackwater coal mine produces 14 million tonnes of coal a year and it has coal and coking coal reserves of 2,669 million tonnes. The mine uses six draglines to remove overburden and two fleets of shovel and trucks that are paired for hauling purposes including front end loaders, conveyors and spreaders. It also has a 56 cubic metre rope shovel that works in conjunction with eight 300 tonne rear dump trucks as well as an 18 cubic metre hydraulic excavator that loads a fleet of seven 180 tonnes rear dump trucks. The coal itself is mined with the use of four front end loaders, a hydraulic shovel and fifteen 160 tonnes coal haulers.

Three Coal Processing Plants Service the Blackwater Mines
The three company processing plant facilities consist of conveyors, dense medium baths, hoppers, crushers, water washing cyclones, cyclones, storage and an automatic rail loading facility. The plants are in simultaneous use. Two of the coal preparation plants have a 900 tonnes an hour coal washing facility along with a coal conveyor that can handle between 1,400 and 1,500 tonnes of coal an hour. The thermal coal treatment plant has a 1,500 tonnes an hour crushing facility along with the rail load out facility.

Blackwater Mine Began in 1967
The Blackwater Mine is a comfortable two hour drive inland from Yeppon on the coast, adjacent to the Blackdown Tablelands National Park. The mine began production in 1967. BMA own and operated six other coal mines in the Bowen Basin, the Goonyella Riverside, Gregory Crinum, Saraji, Peak Downs, Broadmeadow and the now closed Norwich Park mines. It also owns the Hay Point Coal Terminal at Mackay. All these mines are located in the coal endowed Bowen Basin region in Central Queensland that spreads over an area of 75,000 square kilometres. All the company mines are open cut operations apart from Broadmeadow and Crinum that are underground mines that use the long wall method of underground mining.

First Queensland Coal Mine Opened at Blackwater in 1892
Blackwater has a long history of coal mining. It was the first place in Queensland to open a coal mine in 1892, although this venture was rather short lived. The surge in steel making in the 1960’s created a demand for metallurgical coal. This created large scale exploration and the Bowen Basin coal deposits were finally realised for their potential. The first open pit coal mine in the Bowen Basin was opened at Moura in 1961.