South Project

The Winchester South Project, located in the well-established Bowen Basin, is our first development in Queensland.


Our first development in Queensland

The undeveloped coal project is located 30km south-east of Moranbah, in Queensland’s well-established Bowen Basin.

Winchester South is our first investment in Queensland’s coal industry and will entail nearly $1 billion in capital expenditure.
If approved it will involve the construction of a new open-cut coal mine, a coal processing plant and a rail loop to connect with the existing Bowen Basin coal rail network.

At full capacity the mine is targeting run-of-mine (ROM) production of up to 17 million tonnes per annum of coal to supply the international market for about 30 years. Winchester South will produce a primary metallurgical coal product for the steel industry and a secondary thermal coal product for energy generation.

As it is located in a well-established coal region, the site has direct access to key rail and port infrastructure, providing multiple coal export options.

Key benefits




jobs during construction and operations

Metallurgical coal for steelmaking and thermal coal for energy generation


additional net economic benefit to QLD (NPV terms)

30 year
mine life

supplying international markets


to QLD suppliers (NPV terms)


in royalties to the QLD Government (NPV terms)


in additional wages into the community (NPV terms)

studying the impacts

The project has been declared a Coordinated Project by the Government, recognising the potential strategic significance the project will bring locally, regionally and, more broadly, to the state of Queensland.

As part of the comprehensive State and Federal Government assessment process, we’ve carefully studied potential impacts, seeking and incorporating feedback from a wide range of stakeholders.

The results of these studies are outlined in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which includes a proposed design that seeks to avoid, minimise or offset environmental and other impacts. The EIS also outlines the potential environmental and socio-economic impacts and the prospective benefits. Read the full EIS here.

Respecting the
local environment

The project will meet the strict environmental guidelines set out by the Queensland and Federal Governments. We’ve worked to identify and minimise environmental impacts, and key features include:

  • The project will have minimal impacts to air quality, noise and water quality and supply to surrounding landowners
  • No impact on nearby strategic cropping areas
  • We will rehabilitate the land progressively as we mine, and after mining, there will be no residual voids in the Isaac River floodplain
  • The area will be rehabilitated for agricultural use
  • Biodiversity impacts would be offset in accordance with government guidelines.
Read the full EIS

Working with
the community

We’ve worked closely with a range of stakeholders to ensure the project and our approach align with local community expectations, including State Government regulatory, consent and coordination authorities, local landowners, the Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation, neighbouring mine owners and relevant infrastructure and service providers.

Importantly, our first local agreement was the Cultural Heritage Management Plan with the Barada Barna People, which outlines how we will work together to manage cultural heritage artefacts or sites located within the project area.

As outlined in the EIS, the project will provide a boost to local communities and return millions in royalties to the Queensland economy each year. We are also making significant financial and community commitments, including to build new houses in Moranbah to support the growing local workforce.

Prioritising local employment

As an Australian company, and over our more than two decades of operation in the Gunnedah Basin in NSW, we have a proud history of prioritising jobs for local communities. ​​

Currently around 75% of our workforce lives in the communities around our NSW operations. This is an approach we’ll seek to continue at Winchester South.

We also seek to empower local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and will seek to maximise ATSI employment at Winchester South.

Resources and Reserves

In April 2022, Whitehaven released its updated Resources and Reserves Statement for the Winchester South Project in accordance with the JORC Code (2012).

The Project has JORC Resources of 1,100Mt and JORC Reserves of 380Mt.


Regulatory documents

Assessment process

  • Application

    Whitehaven lodges:
    • Initial Advice Statement (IAS) as part of the application for declaration as a Coordinated Project.
    • Application with the Department of Environment and Science (DES) for an Environmental Authority.
    • Referral to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE).

  • Terms of Reference

    Coordinator-General releases draft Terms of Reference for review by the public and State and Federal agencies, including DES and DAWE. The Coordinator-General considers submissions and finalises the Terms of Reference.

  • Draft Environmental Impact Statement

    Whitehaven prepares a draft EIS to address the Terms of Reference and requirements of the SDPWO Act and EPBC Act.

  • Submission

    Whitehaven submits the draft EIS for assessment.

  • Review

    Coordinator-General reviews draft EIS and prepares for public exhibition.

  • Public Notification

    Draft EIS placed on public notification. The public and State and Federal agencies review EIS.

  • Evaluation

    Coordinator-General requests additional information (if required) and releases evaluation report. If the Project is approved, the evaluation report includes approval conditions.

  • Environmental Authority and Mining Lease

    DES issues an Environmental Authority and Department of Resources (DOR) issues Mining Lease(s) consistent with the Coordinator-General’s approval conditions.

  • Commonwealth Determination

    DAWE considers the Coordinator-General’s Evaluation Report and provides a determination of the Project. If approved, DAWE imposes additional conditions.

Register your interest

If you’re interested in supplying goods or services to Whitehaven Coal, please complete the following form.




Winchester South acquired from Rio Tinto Coal Australia (75%) and Scentre Group (25%)


First JORC Coal Resources declared


Winchester South declared a Coordinated Project by QLD Government


Maiden JORC Coal Reserves declared and Coal Resources updated


Draft EIS public consultation


Winchester South

Contact us for more information, to provide feedback or to lodge a complaint.

 Feedback and complaints – 1800 WHAVEN (1800 942 836)


All contacts

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