The Range

Stanmore Coal Limited (Stanmore Coal) have performed a Pre-Feasibility Study and Feasibility Study (the latter, completed April 2013) for a new open-cut coal mine, The Range, at MLA 55001, 55009 and 55010, 25 km south-east of Wandoan in the Surat Basin (Stanmore Coal, 2014; Queensland Government EHP, 2013a, 2013b). Coal targets are expected to be the Pelham Seam within the Taroom Coal Measures that occurs through much of The Range project area (Western Downs Regional Council, 2011). An EIS assessment report was submitted by Stanmore Coal to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection in April 2013 (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b). Geological interpretation was performed using information from 300 drilled holes, of which 140 were cored. Depth of cover to top of first coal is less than 20 m. Seams dip about one degree towards the west (Stanmore Coal, 2014). The coal is export quality, low-emission (low emissions of NO2, SOx, particulates and CO2 relative to other traded coals) thermal coal and it is expected the mine will produce a mean of 5 million tonnes per year (Mt/year) up to 6.7 Mt/year, with a total of 157 Mt over the mine life of 26 years (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b, p. 1). The project has an estimated reserve of 94 Mt and a total resource of 287 Mt (18 Mt measured, 187 Mt indicated, and 82 Mt inferred) (Stanmore Coal, 2014).

The project consists of three open pits (two initially and the third being developed in the final years), targeting coal seams that are between 20 and 120 m below the natural ground surface, covering a maximum extent of approximately 2200 hectares (ha), including in-pit disposal areas (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b, p. 1–2). The mine will perform conventional truck and shovel mining methods to deliver coal to an onsite coal handling and preparation plant.

Clearing of approximately 183.85 ha of remnant vegetation on MLA 55001 with an additional 3.37 ha for the transport corridor and train loading facility is planned (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b, p. 2). Approximately 8 million cubic metres of topsoil will be removed during the life of the project. Although soil will be stockpiled initially, from years three to five it is expected that there will be no need for long term stockpiling of topsoil as it will be used for progressive rehabilitation (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b, p. 2). Run-of-mine (ROM) stockpiles will be elevated to protect them from stormwater and will cover a maximum area of 10 ha. Dirty stormwater from the ROM area will be directed to a mine water dam (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b, p. 2). At the end of operations, three voids will remain that will cover an area of approximately 73 ha (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b, p. 2).

The transport corridor will house an overland conveyor for transferring coal to the coal handling and preparation plant and the train loading facility as well as electricity lines, water supply pipelines and communication lines. It will be approximately 26 km long and 200 m wide, located within MLA 55009 and MLA 55010 (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b, p. 3). A water management system designed to separate mine cleaning and drainage water is proposed and described in the EIS (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b, p. 4, 28–29, 48–52), and groundwater management is also detailed (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b, p. 53–55). The Commonwealth has determined that the project is a controlled action as it is likely to have significant impacts on listed threatened species and communities and listed migratory species (Department of the Environment, 2013b; SEWPaC, 2011). Therefore, the project must seek approval under Part 9 of the Commonwealth’s EPBC Act (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b, p. 77) and the significance of those impacts is discussed in the EIS (Queensland Government EHP, 2013b).

Last updated:
5 January 2018
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