End of a golden era for CQ mine
IT IS the end of an era for Peabody's Millennium Mine.
The last shipment of coking coal has now been railed from the site, 40 kilometres east of Moranbah.
The 30,000 tonne shipment was one of the final chapters in Peabody's owner-operator status of Millennium, which began in 2013.
Prior to that, the mine - which started operations in 2005 - had been under Peabody ownership and operated by Downer EDI.
Peabody has been winding down production at the site over the past few years for a scheduled end to mining in 2020. It will now go on to a rehabilitation and environmental management phase.
Over the years, coal was extracted using multiple mining methods across the site, including a combination of strip mining, terrace mining, dozer push auger mining and finally highwall mining since 2018.
Since highwall mining started, Millennium has produced an extra 1.4 million tonnes of low-ash coking and pulverised coal injection (PCI) coals for export to Asia, Europe and South America.
Millennium site senior executive Dave Champion described the mine as "pretty special". "The Millennium team is really proud of what we've achieved here, not only in coal production, but in creating a high-performing culture that's prioritised safety, delivered results for the company and yet still feels like family," Mr Champion said.
In its heyday, the mine employed an average workforce of about 500.
As of this year, there were just 23 workers at the site. Each has,received a redundancy.
Production at Millennium was originally intended to finish in June last year; however, highwall mining was continued for another 12 months.