A new Central Queensland coal mine will start sending samples to power stations for testing in coming months, after being granted permission by the Queensland Government to establish a bulk sample pit.

The flagship project for CMR Coal, Dawson West is an open-cut and underground coal mine, located 50km south-west of Moura and targeting coal in the Bowen Basin.

CMR is partnering with experienced coal miner LDO Group for the development and ultimate operation of the mine.

The Queensland Government has granted CMR a mineral development licence over the Dawson West project, and has now given permission for a bulk sample pit to be established in the project area.

CMR will aim to extract up to 250,000t of thermal coal from the sample pit, providing 30,000–50,000t to power plants in Australia and overseas in order to test the suitability of the coal product.

CMR’s previous testing has identified that coal from the Dawson West deposit has a high calorific value.

This means it has a high energy density and lower than average quantities of sulfur and trace elements, producing fewer emissions per unit of electricity generated compared to coal with a lower calorific value.

A haul road will be constructed through a nearby road reserve to enable the coal samples to be trucked to an existing train loadout facility at Moura.

In the longer term, CMR has plans to develop a large-scale underground mine producing more than 6Mt per year of run-of-mine (ROM) coal, incorporating a new 79km rail spur to connect the Dawson West mine to the Moura Coal Rail System.

CMR is currently seeking further investment in the Dawson West mine, and TIQ has been working with the company to identify overseas investment partners looking for advanced thermal coal projects.

Mineral resources are identified as one of Queensland’s major export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Rising coal prices are one of the major contributors to Queensland’s strong export figures this year.