Isaac Downs

Project Details

Development project

Stanmore Coal proposes to develop the Isaac Downs Project, an open cut metallurgical coal mine that is expected to produce a total of approximately 35 million tonnes over 16 years.

Metallurgical coal, or steel making coal, is used to fuel blast furnaces, which is part of the process for making steel to use for cars, railway lines, washing machines and a myriad of other products. There is currently no alternative technology for steel production, so steel making coal demand is expected to remain buoyant and support the economics of this project.

Isaac Downs is located in the Bowen Basin coal field, approximately 145km south-west of Mackay and 10km south-east of Moranbah. The Bowen Basin is the world’s premier geological environment for metallurgical coal and produces more steel making coal for export that anywhere else.

Isaac Downs will support stable employment and economic opportunities in Moranbah and the region by extending the life of the company’s assets at the Isaac Plains Complex. The project will limit its footprint by utilising Stanmore’s existing coal processing plant and rail infrastructure which links the mine to Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.

Key points

The project will:

  • Employ approximately 250 people during construction and approximately 300 people during operations. In addition, there will be opportunities for local employment in construction, transport and the supply of goods and services.
  • Maintain a stable level of employment and economic activity in Moranbah and the region, as mining activities and a similar workforce transfer from Isaac Plains Complex.   
  • Contribute significantly to the State’s economy through more than $200 million of forecast coal royalties to the Queensland Government.
  • Capitalise on existing infrastructure at Isaac Plains, limiting the project’s environmental footprint.
  • Continue Stanmore Coal’s commitment to progressive rehabilitation and environmental stewardship within the mine’s operating footprint.

Approvals timeframe

Stanmore IP South Pty Ltd (a subsidiary of Stanmore Coal) will prepare a voluntary environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act). Stanmore IP South Pty Ltd has lodged mining lease applications and intends to apply to the Queensland Government for an environmental authority to enable development of Isaac Downs. Subject to all required approvals, construction is expected to commence in early 2021, with mining operations commencing mid-2021.

Isaac Downs has been declared a Controlled Action by the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy, which means the project will need to be assessed and approved under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Approvals timeline


EIS draft TOR

EIS draft TOR

Environment impact statement (EIS) for Isaac Downs Project - draft terms of reference (TOR).

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Development / Projects

Development / Projects

Isaac Downs acquired in 2018.
Consenting and approvals underway

Majority semi-hard and PCI coking
coals for steel making

Isaac Plains South in exploration phase



Multi – operation region

Incremental capacity increases available leading to a 'combined effect' in value

SMR footprint with a track record of sourcing, development, operating and rehabilitating



Isaac Plains operational in 2016 at 1.2Mt rate

Expansion with Isaac Plains East completed 2018 taking production to 2.3Mt product FY19

Infrastructure / Equipment

Infrastructure / Equipment

100% owned CHPP
(coal handling preparation plant)

Rail loop and infrastructure areas with
3.5Mt ROM (run of mine)

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