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Gunnedah, New South Wales

From 2014 to 2023, Bis provided the essential on-road load and haul transport of coal from Whitehaven Coal's open cut mine at Tarrawonga NSW to the Gunnedah Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP); a distance of 40 kms.

  • Location

    The Gunnedah CHPP is located on the outskirts of the town of Gunnedah; 300km north-west of Newcastle, NSW. Land of the Gunn-e-darr people.

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  • Status


    Operation date: 2014 - 2023

  • Customer

    Whitehaven Coal

  • Commodity


The contract: Haulage

Bis provided essential on-road load and haul transport of coal from Whitehaven Coal's open cut mine at Tarrawonga NSW, to the Gunnedah Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP); a distance of 40 kms.

Additionally, Bis delivered underground and maintenance services to Whitehaven Coal’s nearby Narrabri Underground mine.

In 2020, Whitehaven Coal expanded Bis’ scope of works to include Werris Creek Mine’s off-road haulage operations including the movement of approximately 1.6Mtpa of sale coal from the mine’s stockpile directly to the TLO.

Multi-skilled operators were employed to cover various aspects of the mining operation that provided the client with greater labour flexibility as coal haulage requirements fluctuated.

Customer operations

The Gunnedah CHPP and train load-out facility support Whitehaven Coal’s open-cut mines in the Gunnedah Basin. It received coal from Tarrawonga Mine via road. The coal is crushed, processed to customer specifications and loaded out for transport by rail to the Port of Newcastle, the world’s largest coal export port.

Commencing operations in 2002, the Gunnedah CHPP had a capacity of 4.2 Mtpa Run of Mine (ROM) with an average output of 3 Mtpa product coal.

Its feeder mine, Tarrawonga had been in operation since 2006, producing a mix of metallurgical coal for steel making and low ash thermal coal for energy generation. The vast majority of these products were exported however a small number of niche domestic users value the high quality product.

Bis’ assets at Gunnedah

  • People


    The Whitehaven contract employed up to 60 locals across the Tarrawonga and Werris Creek operations.

  • Equipment


    A specialised fleet of Scania R620 prime movers towing A-double combinations provided a greater payload capacity; reducing emissions and contributing to improved local road safety from fewer vehicle movements.

Key project achievements

Long-term partnership

After partnering with Whitehaven Coal since 2014, Bis received the latest haulage contract extensions in 2019 and 2020.

The contract saw Bis deliver an innovative haulage solution through a new fleet of enhanced prime movers and A-double combinations to support operations at Tarrawonga.

The bespoke haulage solution provided a greater payload capacity while reducing the number of prime movers required, delivering cost efficiencies and benefits to Whitehaven Coal.

The new combinations also provided benefits to the local area, including a reduction in one-way trips by more than 30%. This in turn reduced vehicle emissions, and contributed to improved local road safety and amenity.

The strong commercial partnership between Bis and Whitehaven Coal demonstrated how two committed, locally-based companies can work together to deliver real and ongoing benefits for the local area.

Girls Rocking Resources

Girls Rocking Resources is a Bis initiative aimed at showcasing the broad range of career opportunities available to women in the resources sector and to inspire the next generation of women entering the workforce.

Bis proudly partnered with Whitehaven Coal for its inaugural Girls Rocking Resources event in Gunnedah in May 2019.

Participants included students from the local Gunnedah High School.

The event included site tours of the Bis depot and Whitehaven Coal’s Tarrawonga mine, hands-on STEM activities, panel discussions with employees from both companies, and inspiring talks from young females working in the resources sector.

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