Our operations

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An operator at Capcoal mine
An operator at Capcoal mine

Capcoal operates two underground mines Grasstree and Aquila, and two open-cut mines Lake Lindsay and Oak Park in the heart of the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland.

Together these mines produce premium quality hard coking coal for export steel markets. The majority of coal is mined from the German Creek Formation, noted for containing hard coking coal of exceptionally high quality. The German Creek Sequence contains five coal seam intervals known as the German Creek, Corvus, Tieri, Aquila and Pleiades seams. Mining leases controlled by Capcoal cover 27,343 hectares.


Capcoal is located 25 kilometres south-west of Middlemount (population 3,000) and 240 kilometres south-west of Mackay. It also is within a comfortable driving distance of the major regional cities of Emerald and Rockhampton.

Coal production

Capcoal mines 11.8 Mt (million tonnes) of coal annually to produce in excess of 8.5 Mt of prime quality hard coking coal and PCI coal. After processing, coal is transported 360 kilometres north-east by rail to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal and RG Tanna Coal Terminal for export.

Completion of the Lake Lindsay project

On 29 September 2009, Group Chief Executive Cynthia Carroll officially opened the new module of the Coal Handing Processing Plant (CHPP) at Capcoal surface operations to celebrate the completion of the under-budget $AU850 million Lake Lindsay growth project.

The new CHPP operates at a capacity of 700 tonnes per hour, and complements the existing processing facility at Capcoal, giving a combined sales output of more than nine million tonnes. It’s a key component of the Lake Lindsay project, which will enable our Capcoal operations to continue to deliver high-quality metallurgical coal to its valued customers, world-leading steel manufacturers in North Asia, India, South America and Europe.

Construction started on the Lake Lindsay growth project in 2006, with a scope of works including the CHPP and a new overland conveyor to accommodate a major expansion of open-cut mining within the Capcoal complex.

Ownership and operation

Capcoal is owned by us (70%) in joint venture with Mitsui Coal Holdings Australia (30%). The mine is operated and managed by us.

Regional profile

The majority of Capcoal employees live in Middlemount, which has excellent educational, community and sporting facilities. Apart from mining, the main industries of the region are cattle and grain crop farming.

Environmental issues

Capcoal has continued to meet its commitment to subsidence rehabilitation to be half a panel behind mining at any one time. The operation also is involved in a number of programs and studies relating to biodiversity and environmental management initiatives.

Community relations

Ongoing interaction with the local community is maintained through a range of formal and informal communications. Capcoal plays an important role in the township of Middlemount supporting community events and assisting with the provision of important services. In 2008 and 2009, Capcoal completed a $2.6 million upgrade of shopping centre facilities and invested $25 million to upgrade 100 homes. Capcoal continues to invest in and contribute to the local community, through direct financial and other support to local initiatives and associations.

Cultural heritage

A Cultural Heritage Management Plan has been established between Capcoal and traditional owners (the Barada Barna Kabalbara and Yetimarla People).