Coal Mining Coal Mining

Coal mines operate in the eastern Peak Downs District. You can drive past some of these mines to view the size of their operations if you take either Peak Downs district Self Drive Tour 1 or 3. Brochure guides are available from Capella Newsagency or Council Offices in Conran Street. District Self Drive Tour information is also available on this website.


Within an hour drive east of Capella lie significant coal deposits, that were first reported by men boring for water in the mid-1800s. Mining began in the late 1970's with the opening of Gregory coal mine (1979). Employee housing was built in Capella and Emerald. The Oaky Creek coal mine followed in 1983. The township of Tieri was constructed to house the operational workforce for the latter mine. Longwall underground mining operations commenced at German Creek Southern in December 1989 and four more mines were commissioned in the 1990's at Ensham, Crinum, Kestrel and Oaky No. 1.

The Peak Downs Shire (1903 – 2008) area is host to about 10% of the identified resources of Permian-age Bowen Basin coal in Queensland. Coal resources are located within three coal-bearing sequences that lie in an acuate zone within its eastern portion. In this acuate zone, the mines are or were: Gregory, Crinum, Crinum East, Oaky Creek No. 1, Oaky Creek North, German Creek, Grasstree, Kestrel, Kestrel West, Ensham and Yongala. There are two undeveloped coal resources, Valeria and Liskeard. Ongoing exploration continues to identify and upgrade the status of coal resources.