Caval Ridge conveyor upgrade

THE BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance is investing US$204 million in its Caval Ridge Southern Circuit capital growth project, in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
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The BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance's Caval Ridge mine in Queensland.

Lou Caruana

CRSC is an 11km overland conveyor system that will transport coal from Peak Downs Mine to the coal handling preparation plant at the nearby Caval Ridge Mine.

The project will create up to 400 construction jobs and lock in about 200 ongoing operational roles. 

It will also increase the Caval Ridge preparation plant throughput to its 10 million tonne per annum capacity.

BHP Billiton president operations minerals Australia Mike Henry said the project formed the missing link between the two mines, and would accelerate growth and productivity.

“This investment furthers our productivity agenda, reduces costs, releases latent equipment capacity, and strengthens our coal business’ global competitiveness,” he said.

“We are committed to Queensland’s Bowen Basin and this project creates new employment opportunities during construction and locks in ongoing operational roles.

“The investment flowing from the project will help support the local community and State economy after what has been a difficult time in the region.”

Construction of the project is scheduled to start in the middle of this year and take 18 months to complete. In addition to the conveyor and associated tie-ins, the project will also mean a new stockpile pad and run-of-mine station at Peak Downs and, at Caval Ridge, the existing CHPP and stockyard will be upgraded. 

BMA will also invest in new mining fleet, including excavators, and trucks.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said it was great news for the local community and the broader Queensland coal industry, which had been struggling through a downturn over the past few years.

“These investments are driven by companies willing to invest because they see the fundamental drivers of global demand for high-quality Queensland coal remain strong,” Macfarlane said.

“We know demand remains strong as there is no viable substitute for coking coal in the production of blast-furnace steel – no ‘Uber’ process waiting in the wings.

“This announcement today is good news for the coal sector and the benefits will flow into local communities and local businesses.”