Mining Intelligence and News

Moranbah North Mine

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Mine TypeUnderground
  • Coal (metallurgical)
Mining Method
  • Longwall
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotAnglo American’s steelmaking coal assets, located in Queensland, include the Moranbah and Grosvenor mines. The mines are underground longwall operations and produce premium quality hard coking coal.

Moranbah North mine has achieved the 100% automation mark.

The next longwall moves scheduled at Moranbah and Grosvenor are both in the third quarter of 2024.
Related AssetGrosvenor


JFE Mineral Co., Ltd. 0.5 % Indirect
Shinsho Australia Pty. Ltd. 0.5 % Indirect
Ns Resources Australia Pty Ltd 1.25 % Indirect
Mitsui & Co., Ltd. 4.75 % Indirect
Nippon Steel Australia Pty Ltd. 5 % Indirect
Anglo American plc. 88 % Indirect
Moranbah North is a Joint operation between Anglo American, represented by Anglo Coal (Moranbah North Management) Pty Ltd and a consortium of Japanese Steel Companies.

The ownership structure of Moranbah North has been replicated at Grosvenor, through the sale of a 12% interest in the Grosvenor mine to the same consortium of Japanese companies which hold an equivalent interest at Moranbah North (being Nippon Steel Corporation, Mitsui & Co., Ltd, Nippon Steel Trading Corporation, Shinsho Corporation and JFE Mineral Co., Ltd).

88% Anglo American, 5% Nippon Steel, 4.75% Mitsui Coal, 1.25% NS Resources 0.5% Shinsho Australia, and 0.5% JFE Mineral.



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Deposit type

  • Sedimentary


Moranbah North (metallurgical coal) is located in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

The sedimentary strata of Grosvenor, Moranbah North and Moranbah South were deposited on the tectonically stable Collinsville Shelf on the north western flank of the basin. Basalt flows that follow structures associated with the Permo-Carboniferous strike slip system partially overlie Grosvenor, Moranbah North and Moranbah South.

The Moranbah Coal Measures range in thickness from 250–300 m and contain splits from nine coal seam groups. The target seam is the Goonyella Middle (GM) Seam.

Moranbah Coal Measures
Sandstone, siltstone, mudstone and coal are the predominant lithology’s within the Moranbah Coal Measures, with one distinctive tuffaceous marker bed, the P Tuff, recognised throughout the area.

Goonyella Middle Seam (GM Seam)
In general, the GM Seam displays a brightness profile decreasing towards the roof. Coal surrounding the major partings is often high in vitrinite, but there is always a dulling towards the roof of the seam. This is replicated in coking properties with the best coal being at the base of the seam. The top of the GM Seam generally displays poor coking or thermal coal properties rather than high quality coking coal properties.

The seam maintains a relatively uniform thickness throughout the deposit across the Moranbah North lease and into the project area. In the northern areas of the Moranbah North lease and project area the parting between the GM and GML seams thins in the working section area (interburden less than 30 cm) and consists of a carbonaceous siltstone, which decreases in thickness through the northern extents of the area until it disappears completely. In the south of the Moranbah North mining lease the 1 ply splits off the top of the seam by up 1.5 m in a south easterly trending zone. When the parting is greater than 0.2 m, the 1 ply is not considered part of the GM Seam with the seam at this point made up of plies 2–5B. The overall thickness is reduces to 5–5.5 m. This split also occurs on the eastern edge of the project area.

At Moranbah North a 1 m beam of coal is left behind in the longwall roof to maximise roof stability and protect the mining operation from the very weak carbonaceous material forming the immediate seam roof. Given the mining in the project area is a continuation of the Moranbah North mining operation this practice will continue into the project area.

Fort Cooper Coal Measures
The Fort Cooper Coal Measures contain thick sequences of interbedded tuff, claystone and coal and are considered uneconomic currently due to the high ash nature of the coal.

The lowest seam in the Fort Cooper Measure sequence is the Fair Hill Seam, comprised of over 50m interbedded tuff, carbonaceous shales and high ash coal. The seam is present over the eastern areas of Moranbah North mining lease area from its subcrop down to a depth of around 200m at the eastern edge of mining lease boundary adjected to the project area. Within the project area the seam is at a depth of around 250m. The basal section of the seam is considered to be the most promising quality, where the seam coalesces to form several metres thickness of relatively clean coal. The full seam has been intersected in a number of exploration holes where it has been recorded as ‘gassy’.

Several seams higher in the Fort Coopers sequence develop and subcrop close to the mining lease boundary. Both seams intersected are thick seams (~15m) of similar composition to the Fair Hill Seam.

Moranbah Coal Measures
A number of seams are present in the Moranbah Coal Measures above the GM Seam. Each of these seams splits and coalesces in a number of plies across the Moranbah North mining lease and into the project area. At present all other seams have been evaluated as uneconomic at this stage on the grounds of high ash content or insufficient thickness.

Goonyella Upper Seam (GU Seam)
The Goonyella Upper (GU) Seam sits 60-130m above the GM seam and is just over 2m thick, increasing to ~3m thick in the eastern areas of the Moranbah North ML. It is approximately 2.5m thick across the project area. It has some mining potential in the areas of its thickest development but has high ash and poor quality characteristics and is considered uneconomic at this stage.

P Seam
The P Seam lies 50m (40-80m) above the GM Seam. It develops into a thicker seam in the south eastern area the Moranbah North mining lease where a number of splits coalesce to form a combined seam of around 4m thick. Throughout the project area the P seam is generally split into its multiple plies. It has relatively high ash and poor washability characteristics rendering it uneconomic for coal mining at this stage.

Goonyella Lower Seam (GL Seam)
The GL Seam sits around 60-70m below the GM Seam, is 3-4m thick in the south thickening up to 6.5m in the north and northwest of the Moranbah North ML where it coalesces, respectively, with overlying and underlying seam splits. The seam consists of a banded high ash/low yield seam but contains some lower ash plies which, where present in a thick enough combination, could be an operational target within Moranbah North only. This seam is not currently in Moranbah North Mine’s life of mine plan, and has limited targeted exploration.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



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Coal (hard coking) t  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe6,367,8557,156,3056,057,1795,756,9325,592,956
All production numbers are expressed as clean coal.

Operational metrics

Coal tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe7,744,618 t9,429,130 t7,785,700 t
Tonnes processed  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe7,476,115 t9,370,519 t7,733,815 t
Coal washing plant annual capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe17.5 Mt

Production Costs

Total cash costs Coal (metallurgical) USD 51 / t  

Heavy Mobile Equipment


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AV - Autonomous


Mine Management

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