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We are a leading metallurgical coal producer and supplier of thermal coal for domestic power generation. We operate the Curragh coal mine near Blackwater in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

As at 30 June 2014 we employed 588 people including 547 at the Curragh mine. Total coal production for Curragh was 12.3 million tonnes and we exported our product to Asia, Europe and South America.  We also have a 40 per cent interest in the Bengalla mine in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, which is not covered in this report. Our revenue this year was $1.5 billion. Click here for information on Wesfarmers’ approach to investing in coal assets.

Material issues

  • Workplace safety - keeping our people safe
  • Contributing to the health and wellbeing of our people
  • Training and development for staff and professionals
  • Governance (ethics, integrity and transparency)
  • Emissions (including dust and other emissions)
  • Water management
  • Bio-diversity
  • Climate change and energy efficiency
  • Support to local not-for-profit and community organisations

Click here to see Wesfarmers Resources recognised for women in mining.

Keeping our people safe

To deliver a step change in the safety culture at our Curragh mine a 'Safety Interaction' process was introduced in 2013. It involved targeted discussions between supervisors and employees on the subject of safety and was designed to reinforce site safety standards and procedures.

Management demonstrated visible leadership through these interactions, which fostered a culture that enabled supervisors and managers to show their genuine commitment and care for their employees. The program proved successful with a clear correlation between the increase of safety interactions and the decreasing total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR).  

Results were communicated to the workforce to encourage further participation. From July 2013 to June 2014 more than 35,000 safety interactions were recorded and TRIFR has been reduced from 14.8 to 5.0.

Safety performance

chart data indicator
2014   5.0
2013   14.8
2012   18.8
2011   29.2
2010   30.3




Protecting our assets from flooding

The Curragh North section of the Curragh mine is on the Mackenzie River flood plain, so mitigation and protection is a high priority. Curragh is committed to protecting its assets and managing water on site. This is done through a network of levees and other infrastructure including dams. During the year, construction work was completed to increase flood protection for a once in a 1,000-year flood event.  The work was undertaken without recording a lost time injury. 

Supporting the community

In 2014, Curragh changed the way it allocated its community investment funds, adopting a more proactive approach which encouraged community organisations to plan ahead and apply for funding and in-kind support through a grants program. Curragh established an employee committee to assess applications.  Through this, community contribution decisions are made by people passionate about their community, with a good understanding of community needs. 

The Curragh Community Contribution Program provided financial support totalling $46,900 to 22 local community organisations in the period January to June 2014. The introduction of this new program ensures that Curragh’s support is directed to those organisations that make a difference in the community. Successful organisations included Royal Flying Doctors Service, Riding for the Disabled Blackwater and Blackwater PCYC.  

Community contributions


chart data indicator
2014   235,121
2013   240,000
2012   550,000
2011   830,000
2010   680,000
2014   3,075
2013   6,000
2012   5,000
2011   40,000
2010   30,000

Reducing emissions

In response to community concerns about coal dust, the Curragh mine, with its rail partner Aurizon, has implemented technology which applies a non-toxic, biodegradable veneer to the coal after loading. A veneering station has been constructed at the Curragh train load out facility. The veneer reduces coal dust emissions that could potentially cause a nuisance to neighbours and the community during rail transportation. This process ensures that Curragh is compliant with the Queensland government’s Coal Dust Management Plan which includes recommendations for dust management throughout the Central Queensland rail network.

Greenhouse gas emissions


Tonnes CO2e: '000
chart data indicator
2014   627
2013   668
2012   690
2011   694
2010   715
1. Bank cubic metres measure volume of material moved in mining operations

Energy use


chart data indicator
2014   4.6
2013   3.8
2012   4.1
2011   4.0
2010   3.9
1. Bank cubic metres measure volume of material moved in mining operations



Tonnes '000
chart data indicator
2014   0.6
2013   0.9
2012   2.8
2011   1.1
2010   0.8
2014   2.5
2013   0.6
2012   0.8
2011   0.5
2010   2.3

Water use


chart data indicator
2014   8,148
2013   7,920
2012   2,742
2011   2,707
2010   3,402


Introducing the Curragh Business Code of Conduct

The Curragh Code of Business Conduct assists employees and contractors on site to understand their accountabilities and what is expected of them as they go about their work. The Code ensures that we operate with integrity and ethics and are consistent in all our dealings with our stakeholders. During the year, Curragh employees were trained on the Code via an interactive online training package. The Code is supported by a confidential whistle-blower policy which can be accessed by employees via the “Care for Curragh” program. Ensuring that we meet the highest standards of governance is important for Wesfarmers Resources and our Curragh mine and the Code of Business Conduct assists us to achieve this.


Following the completion in 2010 of the 10.2 kilometre Blackwater Creek Diversion at the Curragh mine, a 12-year monitoring program was established to capture biodiversity data. The data will allow Curragh to identify changes in biodiversity indicators and determine if changes in fauna species composition are occurring as the vegetation matures within the diversion. Fauna monitoring is undertaken within the diversion and control sites upstream and downstream of the diversion. In 2014 the initial monitoring event identified 84 species of terrestrial vertebrate fauna including 49 species of bird, five species of amphibian, 10 species of reptile and 20 species of mammal, including 13 species of microbats. The data obtained will be used to determine what additional assistance, such as the installation of artificial bat boxes, is required.