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Emissions reduction

Identifying opportunities to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption continues to be a key strategic focus at Coronado.

Emissions reduction project at Buchanan complex

Our ongoing emissions project at Buchanan mine complex has reduced our carbon footprint.

Since 1992, we have focused on capturing high-percentage methane (CH4) from our Buchanan gas wells and gob wells, primarily from the Pocahontas 3 seam geologic horizon, and preparing it for market. As the higher-concentration methane is gathered, the mine maintains around 12 ventilation shafts to move fresh air into the mine for the safety of miners and channel the return gaseous air out of the mine. These ventilation shafts emit lower concentrations of methane in a mixture of gaseous air called Ventilation Air Methane (VAM).

Methane emissions from our Buchanan accounted for 63% of Coronado’s total carbon impact in 2019. To begin to address this, in July 2022 we formed a partnership with NextEra Energy and began operating our first VAM oxidising system, called Regenerative Thermal Oxidiser (RTO).

Since being commissioned in July 2022, 264,850 tCO2e has been eliminated from the Buchanan mine complex via the VAM project. We have accomplished the first stage of our objective, which was to reduce the carbon footprint of the Buchanan mine complex. Phase two of the project includes the installation of additional RTO units in 2024, with the aim of:

  • cutting Buchanan’s emissions by approximately 60% by 2030.

Gas pilot project at Curragh complex

At our Curragh mine complex, our gas appraisal project plans to appraise waste mine coal gas, so that beneficial use cases can be determined, such as a diesel substitute for our operating fleets or for power generation.

Drilling works for the pilot project were completed in 2023, and a dual-fuel mine truck 8-week trial using gas transported from Brisbane was completed without incident. The part substitution of gas for diesel showed no discernible difference to a full diesel-run truck in terms of haulage speed and time, and performed safely and as expected.

We envisage the next stage of downstream trials to incorporate a pilot operating a fleet of five to six trucks that will utilise extracted gas. We anticipate that this project will support our engineering efforts to:

  • reduce emissions at Curragh
  • reduce costs, given the substitution of diesel for gas to power the fleet.

Further use cases are being explored with project partners, including generation of electricity, to understand the most effective and viable use for waste coal mine gas.