Coal pro­ject boost

‘ Sig­nif­i­cant’ sta­tus for Bowen Basin mine

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor - by Tony Rag­gatt tony. rag­gatt@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

AN­OTHER big coal mine is be­ing pro­posed in the north­ern Bowen Basin­n­ear Collinsville.

The State Gov­ern­ment this week de­clared the pro­posed $ 1.5 bil­lion By­er­wen coal mine, 140km west of Mackay, a ‘‘ sig­nif­i­cant pro­ject’’, open­ing the way for as­sis­tance to ob­tain ap­provals.

Other big coal projects be­ing pro­posed in Queens­land in­clude Han­cock Prospect­ing’s $ 7.9 bil­lion open cut ther­mal coal mine, Waratah Coal’s $ 7 bil­lion open cut coal mine, the South Galilee Coal Pro­ject $ 1.5 bil­lion coal mine – all near Al­pha – the Belvedere Joint Ven­ture’s $ 2 bil­lion un­der­ground long­wall min­ing op­er­a­tion near Moura, BHP Bil­li­ton Mit­subishi Al­liance’s multi­bil­lion-dol­lar Bowen Basin Coal Growth ( BBCG) pro­ject at three mines in­clud­ing a new air­port at Mo­ran­bah and New Acland Coal’s $ 500 mil­lion ex­pan­sion of the New Acland mine near Oakey.

Trea­surer Andrew Fraser, on a trade mis­sion in Tokyo, briefed one of the By­er­wen pro­ject’s pro­po­nents, JFE Steel, joint de­vel­oper with QCoal, on the de­ci­sion made by the gov­ern­ment’s Co­or­di­na­tor-Gen­eral.

‘‘ Ja­pan-based JFE Steel is one of Queens­land’s largest ex­port cus­tomers and has long sup­ported the Queens­land econ­omy,’’ Mr Fraser said.

‘‘ The joint ven­ture with QCoal pro­poses a coal mine lo­cated at a Green­field site in the north­ern Bowen Basin, ap­prox­i­mately 140km west of Mackay, near the min­ing town­ships of Collinsville and Glen­den.

‘‘ To­day’s de­ci­sion by the Co­or­di­na­tor-Gen­eral now al­lows JFE Steel and QCoal to start work on the pro­ject’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact State­ment ( EIS),’’ he said.

‘‘ The pro­posed $ 1.5 bil­lion pro­ject is ex­pected to pro­duce up to 10 mil­lion tonnes per an­num of high-qual­ity, met­al­lur­gi­cal cok­ing coal pri­mar­ily for the Ja­panese and Asian ex­port mar­ket over a life­span of 50 years.

‘‘ Up to 500 jobs could be cre­ated dur­ing con­struc­tion and up to 1000 jobs at its full op­er­a­tional stage.

‘‘ If ap­proved, this will be a sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment for Queens­land and will en­sure the longer-term fu­ture of town­ships in the area that rely on min­ing for sur­vival.’’

Mr Fraser said the pro­posed pro­ject would be both an open-cut coal mine and an un­der­ground mine and would use ex­ist­ing rail fa­cil­i­ties to move the coal to the ex­port ter­mi­nal at Ab­bot Point. Con­struc­tion of the open-cut mine and un­der­ground mine could start as early as 2012 fol­low­ing state and fed­eral ap­provals.

ECO­NOMIC BEN­E­FITS: New Q-Coal joint ven­ture propo­si­tion is on a Green­fields site near Collinsville

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