Dawson Mine

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Mine TypeOpen Pit
  • Coal (metallurgical)
  • Coal (thermal)
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Dragline
  • Highwall
Production Start1961
Mine Life2036
ShapshotDawson Mine is an open cut metallurgical coal mine operation made up of three operating pits – North, Central and South.


Mitsui & Co., Ltd. 49 % Indirect
Anglo American plc. (operator) 51 % Indirect
Dawson Mine is a joint venture between Anglo American (51%) and Mitsui Holdings (49%), and is operated by Anglo American.


ContractorContractDescriptionRef. DateExpirySource
Macmahon Holdings Ltd. Mining Anglo American has awarded a $200 million surface mining services contract at the Dawson metallurgical coal mine in Queensland to Macmahon Holdings. Macmahon chief executive officer Michael Finnegan said the three-year contract further expanded the contractor’s portfolio on the east coast. Macmahon became Anglo American’s mining contractor at the Dawson South project in March 2021. This contract is due to end on June 30 2024. Apr 15, 2024 2024

Deposit type

  • Sedimentary


The Dawson deposit is located towards the south eastern corner of the basin, with structural disturbance and faulting increasing to the north, and depositional complexity, shown by an increase in split seams, to the south. The Dawson opencast operation extracts coal from the Baralaba Coal Measures, which contain seven main seams. All except two seams have been mined.

Dawson Mine is located in the Bowen Basin, approximately 200 km south-west of Gladstone, Queensland, on the eastern limb of the Mimosa Syncline. The project targets five coal seams (A, B, C, D, E in order of geological age from youngest to oldest) belonging to the late Permian-aged Baralaba Coal Measures (BCM). The seams dip broadly to the west at around 10° with several splits and coalescences. Interburden lithologies are predominantly alluvial floodplain facies consisting of lithofelspathic sandstone, siltstone, coal, and tuff (Leisemann et al., 1992). Underlying the BCM is the Kaloola Member (KM), which is characterised by abundant tuffs and thin, tuffaceous, non-economic coals interbedded with deltaic and prodeltaic siltstones and sandstones. The Kaloola Tuff, which is a stratigraphic marker horizon equivalent to the Yarrabee Tuff elsewhere in the Bowen Basin, is typically located within the E seam floor at a variable depth (Gonano, 1980).

The main regional structures in the Dawson Mine area are NNW-trending, thin-skinned, low-angle thrusts representing the southern part of the Jellinbah Thrust Belt, albeit with diminished complexity and severity (Sliwa et al., 2008). A subordinate minor thrust system varying in strike from WNW to EW is also present and is possibly the result of reactivation of basement fault systems during compressional tectonism. Minor EW normal faults are also observed but tend to lack lateral continuity. Large crossbedding structures are frequently encountered due to channel deposition and lateral migration discordant to seam structure. Other structures typical of a compressive tectonic environment and present in the Dawson Mine area include bedding plane shears, low-angle reverse faults, and thrust ramps with minor seam displacement. Locally within the pit 6-8 area, faults are NW-to-NNW trending thrusts.

Reserves at December 31, 2023

CategoryTonnage CommodityMarketable Coal
Proven 47 Mt Coal (metallurgical) 25 Mt
Proven 47 Mt Coal (thermal) 13.2 Mt
Probable 64.6 Mt Coal (metallurgical) 39.6 Mt
Probable 64.6 Mt Coal (thermal) 13.1 Mt
Proven & Probable 111.7 Mt Coal (metallurgical) 64.6 Mt
Proven & Probable 111.7 Mt Coal (thermal) 26.3 Mt
Measured 263.8 Mt Coal (metallurgical & thermal)
Indicated 330.2 Mt Coal (metallurgical & thermal)
Measured & Indicated 594 Mt Coal (metallurgical & thermal)
Inferred 220.7 Mt Coal (metallurgical & thermal)

Mining Methods

  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Dragline
  • Highwall


Dawson mine is a large open-cut coal mining operation in Queensland that historically had been operated as a strip mine, with multiple draglines exposing coal in a westerly direction and dumping spoil to the east. In response to a shortage of dump space, insufficient progress with progressive rehabilitation and the ongoing disturbance of land, the operation made changes to address these increasing closure liabilities. This included backfilling depleted open pits, which involved changing the fleet for this part of the mine to truck and shovel.

Highwall mining is a low cost, low impact mining method to extract otherwise uneconomic coal at the end of an open cut pit life. It has been extensively used in the USA and Australia including at Glencore’s Newlands and Ulan mines and Anglo American’s Dawson mine.


Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.


  • CHPP
  • Spiral concentrator / separator
  • Flotation
  • Dense media separation


Dawson Coal plant is the largest coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) in Australia. The raw coal system will accept coal from three separate mine sources delivered by an overland conveyor system, with the CHPP processing at 2000 tonnes per hour in two stage mode and up to 3400 tonnes per hour in single stage mode. The state-of the-art plant contains dense medium cyclones, spirals and flotation circuits. The product coal will then be loaded via high capacity automated reclaimers to a new rail load out facility.


Coal (thermal) t 2,234,7871,737,4162,681,9862,253,5052,152,1451,858,0593,087,346
Coal (coking) t 4,747,4692,787,1404,352,7225,735,8784,982,5104,416,1975,927,868
All production numbers are expressed as clean coal.

Operational metrics

Coal tonnes mined 9,215,373 t6,087,247 t8,979,575 t10,555,571 t9,925,466 t8,659,475 t12,127,655 t
Tonnes processed 9,146,831 t6,100,998 t9,168,390 t10,394,706 t9,530,632 t8,435,228 t12,075,884 t

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

HME TypeModelSizeQuantityLeased or
Ref. DateSource
Dragline Bucyrus-Erie 1370 Dec 5, 2022
Dragline Marion 8200 Dec 5, 2022
Excavator Hitachi EX5600 2 Nov 19, 2022
Truck (dump) Komatsu 830E 14 Jun 15, 2017
Truck (haul) Caterpillar 797 23 Oct 2, 2019
Truck (haul) Liebherr T 264 240 t 9 Leased Dec 18, 2020


Mine Management

Job TitleNamePhoneEmailProfileRef. Date
CHPP Maintenance Superintendent Kerry Day LinkedIn Mar 9, 2024
CHPP Manager Julia O'Neill LinkedIn Mar 12, 2024
General Manager Clarence Robertson LinkedIn Mar 9, 2024
General Manager/SSE George Karooz LinkedIn Mar 9, 2024
Maintenance & Engineering Manager Luke Wilkie LinkedIn Mar 12, 2024
Mine Superintendent Shane Powell LinkedIn Mar 12, 2024
Mining Manager Adam Routledge LinkedIn Mar 12, 2024
Mining Superintendent Clinton Dixon LinkedIn Mar 12, 2024
Mobile Equipment Maintenance Superintendent Greg Groves LinkedIn Mar 12, 2024
Planning Superintendent Craig Lowe LinkedIn Mar 12, 2024
Technical Services Manager Daniel Martin (07)-3834-1322 LinkedIn Mar 9, 2024

EmployeesTotal WorkforceYear
645 2022
645 2021
645 2020
1,300 2019

Aerial view:


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