The Washpool Hard Coking Coal Project ("Washpool") is a proposed open-cut coal mine situated in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland. Washpool is located 200km west of Rockhampton and 60km north-east of Emerald between the Idemitsu’s Ensham Coal Mine to the west and Coronado Coal's Curragh Coal Mine to the east. Washpool comprises Exploration Permits for Coal ("EPC") 958 (Washpool), EPC 966 (Mt Crocker) and Mineral Development Licences ("MDL") 3015 and MDL 3016. Washpool is based on the development of a perched basin of Scorpio Seam coal in the Burngrove Measures.
In 2011 Aquila completed a Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS"), which confirmed the viability of an export operation at Washpool. Based on a JORC Reserve of 108Mt, of which 95Mt is classified as Proved and 13Mt is classified as Probable, the DFS mine plan determined that Washpool could export 2.6Mtpa of high quality, hard coking coal over a 16 year mine life.
The DFS proposed that Washpool would be mined as an open-cut-and- shovel operation, with two pits providing access to the shallow resource at multiple faces simultaneously. The presence of alluvial sands as a majority of the overburden reduced the need for substantial blasting. The ROM coal was to be beneficiated at a Coal Handling and Preparation Plant ("CHPP") to produce hard coking coal. The product would be loaded through the mine Train Load Out facilities and railed to Gladstone for export.
In April 2014 a Supplementary Study was completed, which built upon the findings of the DFS.