Anglo American's Aquila project in Central Queensland. Picture: Nat Dixon
Anglo American's Aquila project in Central Queensland. Picture: Nat Dixon

World-leading CQ mine to export first coal by early 2022

ANGLO American has given a major update on its new Central Queensland coal project, dubbed "one of the world's most technologically advanced underground mines".

The Aquila metallurgical coal mine in Bundoora is on track for first longwall production of hard coking coal by early 2022.

Aquila will extend the life of Anglo's existing Capcoal underground operations near Middlemount by six years and continue to use associated infrastructure at the Capcoal complex as its nearby Grasstree Mine approaches end of life.

Anglo has awarded almost $200 million to six longwall equipment suppliers to deliver a walk-on, walk-off system using two complete longwalls, a $20 million overland conveyor system and more than $20 million in civil works.

This is on top of a $95 million mining development contract awarded to Mackay-based mining company, Mastermyne in 2019.

Aquila mine site in the Bowen Basin.
Aquila mine site in the Bowen Basin.

Anglo American metallurgical coal business chief executive Tyler Mitchelson said Aquila was progressing well with the support of its Queensland-based workers and contracting partners.

"More than 90 per cent of our Aquila contracts have been awarded to Queensland-based suppliers, and we currently have around 500 people working on the project in engineering, surface construction and underground development," Mr Mitchelson said.

"Aquila will be a breakthrough project, designed to set a new standard of safety and performance by leveraging technology and focusing on operational improvements."

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The mine will boast a surface remote operating centre and proximity detection systems underground to alert machine operators to pedestrians.

The operation will be digitised using new technologies such as Anglo's Australian-first safe underground electronic tablets.

The project also has a $5 million reverse osmosis water treatment system to increase the use of recycled water and reduce the reliance on freshwater at the mine.

Anglo American launched Australia's first electronic tablet device certified for use in underground coal mines at its Moranbah North Mine.
Anglo American launched Australia's first electronic tablet device certified for use in underground coal mines at its Moranbah North Mine.

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Last financial year, Anglo invested $2.83 billion with Queensland suppliers, which was 77 per cent of the company's total expenditure in Australia.

The Aquila project forms part of the Capcoal Joint Venture between Anglo American (70 per cent) and Mitsui & Co. Ltd (30 per cent).



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