Carborough Downs began as a bord and pillar mine before it was converted into a longwall mining operation once its primary owner Vale completed its expansion.
Carborough Downs mine was commissioned in August 2006, initially as a bord and pillar mine with two continuous miners in a cut and flit operation. Three years later, primary owner Vale undertook a $400 million expansion converting the mine to a modern longwall operation with 4mtpa ROM coal and yield of around 2.8mtpa of product coal.
An overland conveyor transfers raw coal from the underground mine where it is processed on site at the modernised plant, which is in operation seven days a week. It has a capacity to process 1000tph of coal.
Once the coal has made its way through the plant, it is loaded onto trains at the purpose-built rail load-out facility and then transported by rail to the Dalrymple Bay Coal terminal at Hay Point.
Carborough Downs employs more than 500 staff and contractors. The mine has an estimated life span of between 12 and 21 years