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Bechtel’s Impact Report

Daunia Coal Mine

Queensland, Australia
daunia coal mine tank

Producing premium-quality metallurgical coal

In 2013, the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) officially inaugurated their new open-cut metallurgical coal mine.  Located within Central Queensland's coal-rich Bowen Basin, the Daunia mine had initial annual capacity of 4.5 million metric tons of export metallurgical coal. 

Bechtel provided engineering, procurement, construction, and management services to deliver BMA’s project, which also included a coal-handling and processing unit, and infrastructure to support operations and shipment. We completed the project under budget and four months ahead of schedule.

Central Queensland is also home to other projects Bechtel has delivered for the BMA (Caval Ridge and Hay Point Expansion Stage 3). Coal from Caval Ridge is transported by rail from Daunia to Hay Point, which is roughly 93 miles (about 150 kilometers) away.

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Innovative execution center optimizes performance

Daunia was one of several large endeavors Bechtel managed through the innovative Brisbane Hub. This execution center was formed to plan and optimize large-scale projects owned by BHP Billiton and its partners. These included four nearby metallurgical coal projects in the Bowen Basin: Caval RidgeHay Point Expansion Stage 3, Broadmeadow and South Walker Creek. 

The Hub model enabled Bechtel and its customer to work together directly in a planned long-term arrangement for the most effective delivery in terms of budget, schedule, safety and quality improvements, and risk reduction during construction.

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. The Hay Point Terminal—which Bechtel expanded—enables mines such as Daunia to meet the growing need for hard coking coal used to manufacture steel. Massive 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. Crews use excavators and trucks to collect from the pit. They transport coal to the surface using rear dump trucks, which follow the haul road and deliver their cargo to a processing plant.

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

During construction, the mine development created 450 construction and 300 operation jobs.

The project included:

  • 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