The seismic surveying project is a 50:50 joint venture between AAMC and Exxaro Australia, and will cover 3670 hectares south of the Moranbah North mine.
Using Envirovibe units, which weigh 7 tonnes and are mounted on articulated vehicles, the JV aims to undertake 3D seismic surveying over 35 square kilometres.
The Envirovibe system offers minimal environmental impact and a far lower noise level than other systems using larger vibrators.
Details of the project were made available by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts about 1.5 weeks ago.
AAMC said a separate environmental impact statement would be prepared for the proposed Moranbah South coal mine “if and when a decision is made to proceed”
Before the Rudd government caught the industry off guard with its proposed resources super-profits tax, AAMC also unveiled the new $A1.1 billion Grosvenor longwall project, north of the company’s Moranbah North mine.
Grosvenor is estimated to produce up to 5 million tonnes per annum of coking coal over a mine life of more than 30 years.
While considered a greenfield underground project, up to 7Mtpa run-of-mine coal will be transported via an overland conveyor for processing at the Moranbah North longwall mine under the plans.
Consequently the coal-handling and preparation plant at Moranbah North would be expanded, including the construction of new ROM and product stockpiles.
The overland conveyor also allows coal to be exported through Abbot Point using Moranbah North’s existing rail facilities, with no upgrades required.
The project is expected to create up to 1000 jobs with construction planned to start in 2012.