Coal on the high­way

Central Queensland News - - CQ INDUSTRY -

THE State Gov­ern­ment has given Ter­raCom the go-ahead to haul coal along the Peak Downs Hwy.

Safety con­cerns have been raised by Isaac Re­gional Coun­cil but it is a nec­es­sary move for Ter­raCom af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions failed with Glen­core to use its rail in­fra­struc­ture.

Ter­raCom chair­man Jim Soor­ley said Glen­core didn’t want to haul Blair Athol Coal.

In the mean­time, Ter­raCom has teamed-up with Aur­i­zon to recom­mis­sion the old train line to Blair Athol and will build its own train loader at the mine.

That could take up to nine months de­spite Mr Soor­ley say­ing he hoped it would be done in six months.

Un­til then, four semi-trail­ers will leave Blair Athol each hour and haul the coal 110km to Isaac Plains where it will be loaded on to a train.

The ex­tra trucks with three trail­ers each prompted safety con­cerns from the coun­cil which had to sign-off on the road trans­port agree­ment in or­der for the State Gov­ern­ment to give Ter­raCom its ap­proval.

Isaac Re­gional Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Gary Steven­son said the tem­po­rary so­lu­tion was not ideal but would re­sult in fewer trucks on the road.

“As a re­spon­si­ble au­thor­ity for coun­cil-con­trolled roads, a small por­tion of the route, we’ve iden­ti­fied a num­ber of im­por­tant is­sues re­lat­ing to safety and im­pacts on roads.

“We’ve acted on those con­cerns and given di­rec­tion to Ter­raCom who’ve been re­spon­sive and taken ac­tion to ad­dress those con­cerns.”

A Depart­ment of Main Roads spokesper­son said the Peak Downs Hwy was ap­proved for this type of traf­fic and the depart­ment sup­ported the move.

“We have agreed in prin­ci­ple with Blair Athol Mine to the move­ment of coal via the state-con­trolled road net­work, and are in dis­cus­sions about the num­ber and types of haulage ve­hi­cles,” the spokesper­son said.

Ter­raCom bought the mine for $1 at the end of 2016 and started pro­duc­tion in Au­gust this year.

Since then the com­pany has ex­tended the life of the mine by a year af­ter up­grad­ing the mine’s re­sources from 15.6 mil­lion tonnes to 21.9mt.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TRUCK PROGRESS: The dor­mant Blair Athol coal mine was bought by Ter­raCom for $1 at the end of 2016 and started pro­duc­tion in Au­gust this year.

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