coal miner in the hands of
coal miner in the hands of

Miner’s expansion to bring 600 jobs

GLOBAL mining giant Anglo American will expand its central Queensland operations after its UK-based board approved a new $226 million underground mine.

Work on its Aquila metallurgical coal mine in the Bowen Basin is expected to begin in September, with first longwall production of premium quality hard coking in 2022.

The mine will create a peak workforce of 600 and be adjacent to Anglo's Grasstree underground operation, which is due to reach its end of life in 2022.

Anglo's metallurgical coal business CEO Tyler Mitchelson said Aquila would be a key part of the company's long term business strategy and was proof of its commitment to Queensland.

"Aquila will have a total average annual saleable production of around five million tonnes of premium quality hard coking coal, used in steel production for critical building and infrastructure around the world," he said.

"Importantly, the project will provide continuity for our local workforce, with planning under way to transition employees to Aquila from Grasstree, as it approaches its end of life."

The two mines are similar in size.


Anglo American's Tyler Mitchelson in Brisbane last year
Anglo American's Tyler Mitchelson in Brisbane last year


Mr Mitchelson said Aquila would be one of the most technologically advanced underground mines in the world.

"We will pursue remote operation of the Aquila longwall, ensuring our people are removed from harm's way, and the continued digitisation of our operations, using new technologies such as our Australian-first intrinsically safe underground electronic tablets," he said.

"The accelerating pace of technological innovation, particularly in the digitalisation, automation and artificial intelligence areas, are opening up opportunities for the mining sector to be safer, more productive and sustainable."

Anglo American operates two open-cut and three underground metallurgical coal mines in Queensland's Bowen Basin.