Hail Creek Mine

Hail Creek Mine

Hail Creek Mine is located 120 kilometres south-west of Mackay in central Queensland and supplies international markets with hard coking and thermal coal.

Rio Tinto Coal Australia manages the operation on behalf of the joint venture partners, Queensland Coal Pty Ltd (82 per cent), Nippon Steel Australia Pty Ltd (8 per cent), Marubeni Coal Pty Ltd (6.67 per cent) and Sumisho Coal Development Pty Ltd (3.33 per cent).

Transition project

Hail Creek Mine is seeking to amend its Environmental Authority to support the long term future of the operation. Due to the nature of the coal seam, there is a need to transition the operation to further areas within our mining lease. The Hail Creek Transition Project is seeking approval for options to continue open cut mining to the north of the existing mine, a transition of open cut mining to the eastern side of Hail Creek and the potential for underground mining, working east from the existing mine pit.

Production will remain within the existing limit of ten million tonnes of product coal which equates to approximately 20 million tonnes of run of mine coal and will be located within the existing mining lease at Hail Creek Mine.

A decision on the timing and nature of future development at Hail Creek Mine is expected once the government approvals and feasibility study processes have been completed. This decision will take into account market conditions, the economic viability of existing operations at that time and the ability to attract investment in a global context.

Project Information

Environmental Authority Amendment Application

Access the full suite of documents associated with the application for a major amendment to the Hail Creek Environment Authority by using the Hail Creek Mine Documents link on the right hand side.

Mining and production 

Hail Creek Mine is an open cut mine, using a dragline, truck and shovel method.

The coal deposit is part of the Bowen Basin, a significant Permian coal basin stretching 600 kilometres long and 250 kilometres wide. Coal is mined from two seams; the Elphinstone Seam, with an average thickness of 6.4 metres and the Hynds Seam, averaging 8.3 metres in thickness.

In 2015 the mine produced 9.4 million tonnes1 of hard and thermal coal for export. After being washed and prepared for sale, the coal is loaded onto trains for transportation 100 kilometres to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal where it is shipped to international customers.

Hail Creek Mine had JORC run-of-mine coal reserves totalling 127 million tonnes (107 million tonnes, proved and 20 million tonnes, probable) as at 31 December 2014.

1 Total production (Rio Tinto share: 7.71 million tonnes).


Hail Creek Mine seeks to be more than just a major source of local employment and economic growth, rather to work in partnership with the local community. Through our community relations programme, Rio Tinto Coal Australia is working to help provide positive long term outcomes for the Mackay region.

Community Development Fund and Trust

The Hail Creek Mine Community Development Fund was established in 2006 to support communities in the Nebo, Mackay, Mirani and Sarina shires to build community capacity to address development challenges and take advantage of emerging opportunities. Since its inception the fund has contributed more than A$1.2 million to projects aimed at providing benefits for the local community.

The Wiri Yuwiburra Community Benefits Trust was re-launched during 2008 and offers funding for eligible projects that will assist the Trustees' vision and objective for the local Aboriginal people over the next 20 years. Find out more about the Trust and how to apply below.

Read more about the Hail Creek Community Development Fund and Wiri Yuwiburra Community Benefits Trust.


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