Growing our presence in Queensland
Winchester South is a proposed new open-cut coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, which has been recommended to proceed by the Queensland Government's Coordinator General, subject to conditions.
It will produce a primary metallurgical coal product to make steel and a secondary thermal coal product for energy generation – and create about 500 jobs.
The mine will produce up to 17 million tonnes per annum of run-of-mine (ROM) production to supply the international market.
Located 30km south-east of Moranbah, the project will involve the construction of a coal processing plant and a rail loop to connect with the existing Bowen Basin coal rail network. As it is in a well-established coal region, the site has direct access to key rail and port infrastructure, providing multiple coal export options.
The project was declared a Coordinated Project by the Queensland Government, recognising the potential strategic significance of the project locally, regionally and to the state of Queensland more broadly.
On 23 November 2023, the Queensland Government’s Coordinator General recommended the project to proceed, subject to conditions, following an extensive assessment process.
jobs during construction
in additional wages into the community (NPV terms)
to QLD suppliers (NPV terms)
supplying international markets
additional net economic benefit to QLD (NPV terms)
in royalties to the QLD Government (NPV terms)
Metallurgical coal for steelmaking and thermal coal for
Refining the project
in response to feedback
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. We have developed a design that seeks to avoid, minimise or offset environmental and other impacts.
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) outlines the project design, potential environmental and socio-economic impacts, and the prospective benefits.
Following public feedback, we have refined the project to further improve environmental and social outcomes. Key features of the refined design include:
- Fully abating Scope 2 emissions through the purchase of carbon neutral electricity
- Reducing the number of final voids from four to three and proposing a final land use of agricultural water storage for the three residual voids
On 7 July 2023, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was formally accepted by the Coordinator-General as the final EIS for the project, enabling the Coordinator-General to prepare a report evaluating the EIS.
On 23 November 2023, the Queensland Government’s Coordinator General recommended the project to proceed, subject to conditions.
Read the Coordinator-General’s evaluation report and the full EIS here.
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, with residual voids proposed to be used for agricultural water storage
- Biodiversity impacts would be offset in accordance with government guidelines.
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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment at Winchester South.
Read more about our employment initiatives here.
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.
Table of Contents802KB
Section 1 - Introduction3707KB
Section 2 - Project Description14854KB
Section 3 - Project Alternatives2443KB
Section 4 - Assessment of Project Specific Matters17055KB
Section 5 - Assessment of Matters of National Environmental Significance14813KB
Section 6 - Rehabilitation Strategy6295KB
Section 7 - General Environmental Protection Commitments and Model Conditions2275KB
Section 8 - Evaluation and Conclusion1294KB
Section 9 - References1333KB
Section 10 - Abbreviations, Acronyms, Glossary and Definitions1526KB
Attachment 1 - Terms of Reference2189KB
Attachment 2 - Terms of Reference Reconciliation Table1424KB
Attachment 3 - Peer Review Letters1101KB
Attachment 4 - Public Consultation Report1764KB
Attachment 5 - Offset Management Strategy5473KB
Appendix A - Groundwater Assessment - Part 112844KB
Appendix A - Groundwater Assessment - Part 254390KB
Appendix A - Groundwater Assessment - Part 320665KB
Appendix B - Surface Water and Flooding Assessment37614KB
Appendix C - Social Impact Assessment6175KB
Appendix D - Terrestrial Ecology Assessment - Part 120944KB
Appendix D - Terrestrial Ecology Assessment - Part 212522KB
Appendix E - Aquatic Ecology and Stygofauna Assessment41981KB
Appendix F - Integrated Assessment of Impacts on Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems8842KB
Appendix G - Noise and Vibration Assessment12544KB
Appendix H - Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Assessment7038KB
Appendix I - Road Transport Assessment6017KB
Appendix J - Soils and Land Suitability Assessment45380KB
Appendix K - Economic Assessment2503KB
Appendix L - Non-Indigenous Cultural Heritage Assessment14522KB
Appendix M - Geochemistry Assessment10052KB
Appendix N - Preliminary Risk Assessment2117KB
Additional Information - Main Text28478KB
Enclosure 1 - Assessment of Final Landform Alternatives23989KB
Attachment 1 - Submissions Summary6858KB
Attachment 2 - Register of Submitters and Reconciliation of Comments5803KB
Attachment 3 - Response to IESC Advice3531KB
Attachment 4 - Response to DAWE Advice11464KB
Attachment 5 - Additional Information - Groundwater (Part 1)47010KB
Attachment 5 - Additional Information - Groundwater (Part 2)79458KB
Attachment 5 - Additional Information - Groundwater (Part 3)86169KB
Attachment 6 - Additional Information - Surface Water and Flooding37159KB
Attachment 7 - Offset Management Strategy73701KB
Attachment 8 - Supplementary Fauna Survey Report6053KB
Attachment 9 - Additional Information - Aquatic Ecology and Stygofauna15108KB
Attachment 10 - Aquatic Ecology and Stygofauna Supplementary Impact Assessment8645KB
Attachment 11 - Additional Information - Social9440KB
Attachment 12 - Greenhouse Gas Management and Abatement Plan19978KB
Attachment 13 - Additional Information - Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas9893KB
Attachment 14 - Additional Information - Noise and Vibration22337KB
Attachment 15 - Additional Information - Road Transport8067KB
Attachment 16 - Additional Information - Economics15958KB
Attachment 17 - Additional Information - Soils and Land Suitability43257KB
Attachment 18 - MEDLI Modelling Report14555KB
01 Permit Application - ML70004984KB
02 Letter of authority - AHR - ML7000491104KB
03 Permit term justification statement - ML700049293KB
04 Permit area justification statement - ML700049356KB
05 Surface area justification statement - ML700049356KB
06 Map of area boundaries and access - ML700049591KB
07 Additional documents to support the location of the permit - ML7000492KB
08 Background Land Details - MLA70004942KB
09 Adjoining Land Details - MLA70004942KB
10 Adjoining resource authorities and land parcel details statement - ML70004957KB
11 Proposed mining program - ML70004911466KB
12 Coal Seam Gas (CSG) statement - ML700049130KB
13 CSG criteria statement - ML700049135KB
14 Map of Restricted Land Features - ML7000491729KB
15 Restricted land feature details - ML70004979KB
16 Supporting documents - ML700049632KB
01 Permit Application - ML70005083KB
02 Letter of authority - AHR - ML7000501103KB
03 Permit term justification statement - ML700050293KB
04 Permit area justification statement - ML700050356KB
05 Surface area justification statement - ML700050356KB
06 Map of area boundaries and access - ML700050591KB
07 Additional documents to support the location of the permit - ML7000505KB
08 Background Land Details - MLA70005042KB
09 Adjoining Land Details - MLA70005041KB
10 Adjoining resource authorities and land parcel details statement - ML70005058KB
11 Proposed mining program - ML70005011466KB
12 Coal Seam Gas (CSG) statement - ML700050130KB
13 CSG criteria statement - ML700050135KB
14 Map of Restricted Land Features - ML7000501729KB
15 Restricted land feature details - ML70005079KB
16 Supporting documents - ML700050632KB
01 Permit Application - ML70005183KB
02 Letter of authority - AHR - ML7000511103KB
03 Permit term justification statement - ML700051293KB
04 Permit area justification statement - ML700051356KB
05 Surface area justification statement - ML700051356KB
06 Map of area boundaries and access - ML700051591KB
07 Additional documents to support the location of the permit - ML7000515KB
08 Background land details - MLA70005142KB
09 Adjoining land details - MLA70005141KB
10 Adjoining resource authorities and land parcel details statement - ML70005158KB
11 Proposed mining program - ML70005111466KB
12 Coal Seam Gas (CSG) statement - ML700051130KB
13 CSG criteria statement - ML700051135KB
14 Map of Restricted Land Features - ML7000511729KB
15 Restricted land feature details - ML70005179KB
16 Supporting documents - ML700051632KB
01 Permit Application - ML700065114KB
02 Updated Letter of Authority - ML700065210KB
03 Permit term justification statement - ML700065124KB
04 Permit area justification - ML7000652163KB
05 Surface area justification - ML7000652164KB
06 Map of area boundaries and access - ML7000651118KB
07 MLA Boundary - ML7000657KB
08 Background Land Details - ML70006538KB
09 Adjoining Land Details - ML70006540KB
10 Overlapping Permits - ML70006533KB
11 Adjoining resource authorities and land parcels statement - ML70006565KB
12 Proposed Development Plan - ML700065124KB
13 Additional documents to support the location of the permit - ML7000651118KB
• 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.
Whitehaven submits the draft EIS for assessment.
Coordinator-General reviews draft EIS and prepares for public exhibition.
Draft EIS placed on public notification. The public and State and Federal agencies review EIS.
Coordinator General's evaluation report
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.
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.