22°0' 3'' S | 148°2' 45'' E

Daunia Coal Mine, Queensland, Australia Overview

Scope of Work Engineering, procurement, construction, and management services
Value $1.4 billion
Schedule 2011–2013
Business Mining & Metals

New mine produces premium-quality metallurgical coal

daunia coal mineBechtel provided engineering, procurement, construction, and management services for the Daunia coal mine in Australia. Located within the coal-rich Bowen Basin of Central Queensland, the mine has an annual capacity of 4.5 million metric tons of export metallurgical coal. 

Built for a joint venture of BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Development, the project entailed the development of an open-cut coal mine, a coal-handling and -processing unit, and infrastructure to support operations and shipment.

Central Queensland, home to Daunia and other Bechtel projects (Caval Ridge, and  Hay Point Coal Terminal), accounts for roughly 40 percent of the entire state's coal production. Coal from caval Ridge is taken by rail from Daunia to Hay Point, which is roughly 93 miles (about 150 kilometers) away. 

We completed the Daunia project under budget, and it produced coal four months ahead of schedule. 

Bechtel built

  • Bridges, culverts, and bulk earthworks
  • A coal-handling and -processing plant that can handle 800 metric tons of coal per hour
  • Separate stockpiles for semi-hard coking coal and pulverized coal for injection
  • Access and haul roads, power reticulation works, and water supply
  • A train-loading facility
The mine development created 450 construction and 300 operation jobs.

Innovative execution center optimizes performance

The Daunia coal mine was one of several large efforts that Bechtel has managed through the innovative Brisbane Hub. Bechtel and its customer formed the Brisbane Hub as an execution center to plan and optimize large-scale projects owned by BHP Billiton and its partners. These include  Caval Ridge and Hay Point Coal Terminal as well as thier Broadmeadow and South Walker Creek projects.

The Hub model enabled Bechtel and its customer to work together directly in a planned long-term arrangement to save money and time, improve safety and quality, reduce risk and facilitate better planning.

Supporting the worldwide steel industry 

By value, coal is Queensland's most important export commodity, and Queensland is the world's largest exporter of seaborne coal. Steelmakers use some 60 percent of the state's coal exports, and most of the rest goes to producing electricity. The Hay Point Terminal—which Bechtel is expanding—enables mines such as Daunia to meet the growing need for hard coking coal used in the manufacture of steel. Huge ships fill their hulls with coal bound for destinations around the world, including Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

The process begins at Daunia and its sister mines. Mining crews use excavators and trucks to collect from the pit. They haul coal to the surface using rear dump trucks, which follow the haul road and deliver their cargo to a processing plant.

Trains transport coal to the coal-handling complex, where personnel unload, stack, reclaim, and blend as necessary before conveyors move the coal onto each ship.

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