Carborough Downs

Carborough Downs

Carborough Downs

Vale's Carborough Downs underground mine is located in central Queensland in the Bowen Basin, approxim​ately 20 kilometres east of Moranbah and 180 kilometres southwest of Mackay. Vale has been operator of the mine since 2007 when the Company entered the Australian market and acquired assets from AMCI Holdings.

The mine produces predominantly hard and semi-hard coking coal with pulverized coal injection (PCI) as a secondary product. Carborough Downs coal is sold to international customers primarily for use in the steel making industry.

The site is expected to continue producing until 2019, with further potential for the extension of the mine life beyond that timeframe.


The 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. In 2009, Vale undertook a $400 million expansion converting Carborough Downs to a modern longwall operation with 3.5Mtpa run of mine coal and a yield of approximately 2.4Mtpa of product coal.

The Leichhardt seam that is currently being mined at Carborough Downs is relatively uniform and ranges from 4.5 to 5.7 metres thick, with total resources estimated at between 280 and 300 million tonnes.


An overland conveyor transfers raw coal from the underground mine for processing on site at a modern Coal Handling and Processing Plant (CHPP). The Carborough Downs CHPP operates seven days a week and is capable of processing 1,000 tonnes per hour.


Coal from the Carborough Downs CHPP is loaded onto trains at a purpose-built rail loadout facility and then transported by rail 160 kilometres east to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal located at Hay Point.