The Eaglefield mine is a surface operation, about 160 kilometres west of Mackay, in the northern Bowen Basin in Queensland. The mine is adjacent to, and producing ore tonnages in conjunction with, the North Goonyella underground mine. Eaglefield provides run-of-mine coal for processing through North Goonyella's preparation plant to produce a premium quality, medium volatile, high strength coking coal. The coal handling and preparation plant has a current throughput capacity of between 650 tonnes and 850 tonnes per hour.
Eaglefield has been operating since 2003 and produces high-quality hard coking coal. The mine was acquired by Peabody Energy in 2004, and lies on a 3341-hectare mining lease shared with North Goonyella. Mining is carried out by conventional truck and excavator mining methods, before coal is railed to Dalrymple Bay coal terminal and exported to steel makers in Japan, Asia, India and Europe. Eaglefield produced 1.270 million tonnes per annum of coking coal to December 31, 2006.
Operating. Peabody has planned the Eaglefield Expansion Project to extend the existing open-pit operation, and expand the coal handling and preparation plant. Additional wash plant capacity would be required to cater for expanded production and to wash sourced coal on a commercial basis. The proposed, open-pit expansion would see an increase in production from the current rate of up to 3.5Mtpa to a maximum of 12Mtpa, and would also extend the mine life at Eaglefield. The expansion was expected to take between 12 months and 18 months to complete.