Kestrel Mine, located 40km north east of Emerald in central Queensland is an underground operation, supplying world markets with around four million tonnes of coking and thermal coal per annum.
Previously known as Gordonstone Mine, the operation was opened by the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) in 1992. Rio Tinto purchased ARCO's 80 per cent interest in February 1999 and the operation was reopened under the employee-voted name Kestrel Mine, in honour of the small falcon bird that can regularly be seen flying over the area.
The Kestrel Mine Extension was announced in 2007 and construction commenced in 2008. Kestrel Mine operations are in the process of transitioning to Kestrel Mine Extension and this will allow the mine to access the remaining resources more efficiently. Capacity will increase to up to seven million tonnes per annum with an average of more than five million tonnes per annum of saleable coal expected over the extended 20 year life of the mine.
Rio Tinto Coal Australia manages the operation on behalf of the joint venture partners, Queensland Coal Pty Limited (80 per cent) and Mitsui Kestrel Coal Investment (20 per cent).