Isaac Plains Complex

Project Details


Commenced production in 2006 as a truck shovel operation.

Dragline operations commenced in 2011/2012.

Placed on care and maintenance late 2014.

Stanmore acquired Isaac Plains in November 2015.

Mining operations commenced in January 2016.


Well laid out site with mine infrastructure located along western side of lease.

Short spur connection to Goonyella Brach Railway.

Ease of access for potential Isaac Plains East extension via haul road.

Close to camp accommodation facilities.


The Leichardt seam (LHD) of the Rangal Coal Measures averages 3.5m thickness across the deposit.

Depth of cover in the present open-cut operation starts at about 60m, the LHD seam dips east at around five degrees and tracks east into the Isaac Plains East tenement area to a depth of approximately 300 metres, before terminating at a regional fault structure referred to as the Burton Range Thrust Fault.

Approximately 1000 exploration holes were drilled within the Isaac Plains Mining Lease, of which over 100 core boreholes have been completed.

Over 20km of 2D seismic lines have been completed within the Mining Lease area.

A 3D seismic survey has been completed (September 2017) across the entirety of the Mining Lease, east of the open-cut pits, in the area being assessed for future underground potential.

Coal Resources/Reserves

Xenith Consulting Pty Ltd updated the Resource and Reserve estimate for Stanmore in 2017 within the Mining Lease area and the Isaac Plains East area.  Total resources now total 79 million tonnes with 55.2Mt compliant as measured and indicated resources under the JORC (2012) code.

Current Reserves support over 12 years of open cut mining at planned mining rate of 1.2Mtpa of product coal.  Total reserves as at August 2017 were 16.4Mt (ROM).  These represent mineable reserves by open cut methods. 

Coal Quality

Mid-volatile, weak coking coal known as semi-soft coking coal, with a secondary thermal coal.  Coke oven yield is substantially higher than the Newcastle SSCC coals, due to lower volatile matter levels.  The coal also displays low impurity levels of sulphur and alkalis.  The thermal product has a high calorific value, low sulphur and nitrogen content and excellent handling characteristics and is easy to grind.


Product Split (%) Isaac Plains - Coking Isaac Plains - Thermal Isaac Plains East1 - Coking
Inherent moisture (%) 2.5 3.1 2.2
Ash (%) 9.5 16.0 9.5
Volatile Matter 25.5 23.6 24.9
Fixed carbon (%) 62.5 57.3 63.4
Total Sulphur (%) 0.36 0.37 0.4
Phosphorus (%) 0.10 0.16 0.059
Crucible swell number 4 - 4
Hardgrove grindability index - 65 -
Calorific value (kcal/kg) - 6,730 -

1The indicative results from Isaac Plains East deliver a SSCC product slightly higher in rank, with lower VM content and phosphorous than the present IPM product. This should further broaden market opportunities for semi-soft coking coal from the Isaac Plains Complex.

Infrastructure Position

Approximately 1.1Mtpa of rail and port capacity.  Further expansion capacity available in current market environment.

Total transport infrastructure costs under A$15/tonne at steady-state production.

Significant capacity within Isaac Plains CHPP and train load out up to 3Mtpa of product.

Isaac Plains East

This project has been substantially advanced in preparation for development and operations as an extension of the existing Isaac Plains mine.

Marketable reserves of 8.99Mt at the current product coal mining rate of 1.2Mtpa provide for an economic mine life of approximately seven years.

Seven year average prime strip ratio (bcm/ROM tonnes) of 11:2, with the first three years at sub 8.8:1.

Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) activities indicate a saleable product coal mix ~99% coking coal is estimated at an average life of mine yield of 81%.

Capital infrastructure requirements for the development have been extensively assessed and refined through the BFS design phase, leveraging heavily off the existing operational facilities resulting in minimal risk, low cost capital works program.

Environmental approvals for the proposed Isaac Plains East Mining Lease area are well advanced, with the forecast grant of the Mining Lease in Q2 of FY18 with mining to start shortly after.


The Burton Range Thrust Fault is responsible for repeating (bringing back to near surface) the LHD seam. This is the same seam that is presently open-cut mined in Isaac Plains.

The LHD seam averages 2.8m thickness across the Isaac Plains East deposit. No seam splitting is known to occur.

In the LHD seam sub-crop zone, the depth of weathering average is 16.9m.

Over 400 holes have been drilled.

Over 30km of 2D seismic has been completed.



Continued assessment of a potential underground extension in the eastern portion of Isaac Plains Mining Lease.

The area contains more than 21Mt of JORC Compliant Measured and Indicated Resources. Approximately 8-10Mt ROM (Economically Recoverable Resource) may be extracted.

Able to run parallel with open cut operations with minimal capital expenditure by accessing the exiting highwall and will fill surplus wash plant and rail load out capacity.

Initial production of 0.4 Mtpa of ROM coal, ramping up to produce 1-1.4Mtpa.

It will be operated and managed separately from Stanmore's open-cut mine, sharing elements of the existing surface operations site infrastructure, including coal preparation plant, rail transport and some coal handling.

Dust Charts

Dust Charts - 30 December 2017 to 6 January 2018

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