The first 10 million tonnes of high-quality thermal coal from the Carmichael mine near Clermont in central Queensland have been mined and railed for export to nations overseas as planned.
The milestone covers the shipments sent during testing and commissioning of the mine’s export infrastructure and those tonnes railed to the port for export during the first year of mining operations.
All of the coal was safely transported from the mine to the North Queensland Export Terminal, north of Bowen, by the Bowen Rail Company using trains running on the 200-kilometre Carmichael Rail Network that connects the Galilee Basin to the Newlands Rail System into the Port of Abbot Point.
Bowen Rail Company, also a Bravus Australia company, was established in 2020 and now employs more than 150 people in the local Bowen community to run, support, and maintain its locomotives and rollingstock.
Bravus Mining and Resources Chief Operating Officer Mick Crowe said the 10 million tonnes railed milestone was an achievement shared by the tens of thousands of people who had so passionately supported the business over the years of obtaining its comprehensive approvals and building the mine and railway.
“This is a terrific milestone for our team, our contracting partners, and supporters of our business,” Mr Crowe said.
“It also shows clear delivery on the commitments we’ve made, particularly to people in north and central Queensland, and just how much the coal industry can contribute when the job is done well.
“We said at the outset of the Carmichael mine and rail Project that we’d deliver more than 1,500 direct jobs during the construction and testing and commissioning period.
“We well and truly exceeded that with more than 2,600 people employed at the peak of construction and more than A$2 billion paid to regional Queensland contractors and businesses.
“That investment in jobs and contracts has flowed on in production and today we have more than 750 people working at Carmichael at any one time, with another third of that number on their operations swing.
“Importantly the bulk of these people live in a regional city or town named Townsville, or Rockhampton, or Clermont, or Charters Towers or Mackay, and that’s something we’re very proud of.
”Mr Crowe said the business’ focus was now on continuing to export coal to meet growing global demand for thermal coal for energy, particularly in India and Southeast Asia.
Data from the World Coal Association shows 151GW of new coal-fired power is under construction in 16 countries and due to come online by 2026.
151GW is more than double all existing capacity in the Australian energy market.
“There’s no question that Australian coal will play a role, alongside renewables, as part of the global energy mix that delivers reliable and affordable power with reduced emissions intensity,” Mr Crowe said.
“Our advantage is we have all of our key Federal and State approvals in place, and we have the low-cost, high-quality reserves to be mining profitably through the price cycles for decades to come.
“We are already meeting the rising demand for thermal coal in our region with a product that not only has a lower emissions profile than coal supplied by international competitors, but one that is mined responsibly in a highly regulated environment with the right checks and balances in place.
“That’s good news for those nations trying to lift their citizens out of energy poverty, and it’s good news for regional Queensland and the thousands of people who want a job in mining or to supply to our industry.”