Isaac Downs Mine Infrastructure

Client: Stanmore IP South


Resources & Roads


Early Contractor Involvement (ECI); Design & Construct


Isaac Downs Mine, QLD


$82.7 million


March 2020 – October 2022


Stanmore IP South – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stanmore Resources – engaged CMC under an ECI contract to progress engineering design, optioneering and costings to firm Design and Construction contract packages for the major civil works that would transform a 1,157ha greenfield site in Central Queensland’s coal-rich Bowen Basin into a metallurgical coal mine in the first quarter of 2022.

CMC’s collaborative approach to the project resulted in the fastest mine construction in the Bowen Basin while meeting relevant quality and design standards for all civil works:

  • 1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) bulk sample pit in 17 weeks
  • 4mtpa full working mine in 15 months.

The main civil works included:

  • 3km new section of roadway on the Peak Downs Highway and bridge underpass
  • 5km Q1000 flood protection levee
  • 12km haul road
  • 300ML mine water dam and 130ML sediment dam
  • Run of Mine (ROM) coal pad and mine infrastructure area
  • 8km dragline walk which included crossing the Peak Downs Highway


Collaboration:  CMC’s early engagement under an atypical ECI model for a mining project eliminated the ‘us and them’ relationship that can exist between Principals, engineering consultants, third-party asset owners and contractors, giving the team the agility to pivot to meet scope changes and unforeseen risks.

Problem-Solving: The team successfully managed 11th hour scope changes including:

  • redesigning key mine infrastructure works to fast-track a bulk sample pit while limiting major capital rework or redundancy for the main mine
  • redesigning the haul road and some permanent mine structures to avoid an endangered snake habitat
  • expanding the project scope to transition Stanmore’s 3,400t dragline to the new mine to commence production in line with the company’s advice to shareholders and the market.

Sustainable Impact:  Zero reportable environmental incidents were recorded on all mine infrastructure construction works, despite the project footprint comprising a threatened ecological community inhabited by endangered species adjacent to the Isaac River.

Safety: CMC reported no lost time to injury despite the inherent safety risks associated with:

  • operating under two different Safety Acts on the mine and road works
  • a 15km work site that operated seven days a week with 148 staff and 85 heavy and light vehicles at the peak of construction
  • managing highway closures to move heavy mining equipment, including Stanmore’s dragline.


“From the moment we engaged CMC under an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) delivery model for the Isaac Downs Mine infrastructure Project, we knew we had engaged a pragmatic design and construction partner who understood our business objectives and the realities of the turbulent and uncertain coal market and economic environment in which we were operating at the time. Their experience, combined with their network of trusted regional suppliers and contractors, and their established relationships with key government stakeholders such as the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR), ensured the project met our expectations.’’

Marcelo Matos
Chief Executive Officer, Stanmore Resources Ltd

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