Coal project boost
‘ Significant’ status for Bowen Basin mine
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