As Australia continues its transition towards fossil fuels, we need to add some projects to Coal Mine Tracker.

The Mt Arthur coal mine in the Hunter Valley is owned by BHP and is one of Australia’s biggest, producing around 15 million tonnes of coal per year. As coal has fallen from favour with the public and investors, particularly thermal coal for power stations, BHP has been trying to sell the mine.

But no buyer could be found, perhaps because of the approximately $1.66 billion cost of rehabilitating the site. So what to do with this great big hole with approval only to 2026? Why extend, of course!

BHP is asking for a four year extension to 2030, after which it promises to close down Mt Arthur. This extension would, according to its economic assessment, actually increase production relative to recent years, particularly of lower-grade coal. All up, we estimate the Mt Arthur extension will result in 193 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over four years, roughly the same as the entire nation of Portugal.

Peabody is applying to expand its Coppabella mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. You might remember Peabody from the Advanced Energy for Life campaign it ran in 2014, which suggested that more coal mining was the only way to solve ‘energy poverty’. We debunked this at the time, showing that even the energy poverty reduction projects that coal companies directly supported did not use coal.

The Coppabella extension would run out to 2042 and result in 68 million tonnes of emissions.

Lastly, Thai-owned Centennial Coal is applying to extend its Clarence Colliery near Lithgow in NSW. It’s smaller than the others, but it’s still new coal that should stay in the ground. We estimate it would result in an extra four million tonnes of emissions over its two year project life.

It is unacceptable that there are three additional new coal projects seeking Australian Government approval as we head towards our next federal election.