Ensham Mine is an existing open-cut and underground bord and pillar coal mine located approximately 35 kilometres (km) east of Emerald in Queensland. The existing underground bord and pillar operations are located on mining lease (ML) 7459 and ML 70365 which extracts a portion of the various combined Aries/Castor seam plies.
The proposed project footprint is approximately 2,737 hectares (ha) and includes three zones (see Figure):
- Zone 1: MDL 217 and requires a ML application to be lodged (approximately 2,134 ha)
- Zone 2: partially includes existing leases ML 70326, ML 70365 and ML 7459 (approximately 394 ha)
- Zone 3: partially includes existing leases ML 7459 and ML 70366 (approximately 209 ha).
With inclusion of the proposed project, Ensham Mine will:
- continue to produce at current production rates and would not seek to change the current Environmental Authority (EA) limit (condition A5) which authorises the mining of 12 million tonnes of Run of Mine (ROM) coal per annum.
- enable the extension of the Ensham Life of Mine (LOM) by up to nine years with sufficient coal reserves to approximately 2037.
- extend the Ensham mine underground operation to the west (encompassing a new mining lease area by developing a portion of MDL 217). No additional surface infrastructure or surface disturbance is proposed as part of the new mine lease area (ie. Zone 1).
- continue to utilise approved operational mine infrastructure.
- enable Ensham to provide the continuation of long-term employment within the Central Highlands region.
The Project will be assessed under the environmental impact statement (EIS) process in chapter 3 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.