Green light for new mine

Cen­tral Queens­land project up 4000 con­struc­tion jobs

Central Queensland News - - NEWS - Sarah Vogler

A NEW $7 bil­lion mega-mine in Cen­tral Queens­land’s Galilee Basin that will cre­ate thou­sands of jobs and bil­lions of dol­lars in roy­al­ties has been ap­proved by the state’s co-or­di­na­tor-gen­eral.

MacMines Aus­ta­sia’s 20,000ha China stone ther­mal coal project is big­ger than Adani’s scaled back plans for its Carmichael mine.

China stone is tipped to pro­duce 38 mil­lion tonnes of coal an­nu­ally at peak to sup­ply power sta­tions in China and other parts of Asia.

The project will cre­ate al­most 4000 jobs dur­ing con­struc­tion and al­most 3400 jobs when the mine is op­er­a­tional.

It is ex­pected to have a 50-year life­span, con­tribut­ing an an­nual av­er­age of $188.26 mil­lion in roy­al­ties for the State Budget in its first 25 years of op­er­a­tions.

It is si­t­u­ated be­side Adani’s project, west of Cler­mont and is ex­pected to loop into the In­dian con­glom­er­ate’s planned rail­way line.

“Af­ter a thor­ough en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment, Queens­land’s in­de­pen­dent Co-or­di­na­tor-Gen­eral has ap­proved MacMines Aus­ta­sia Pty Ltd’s pro­posal to con­struct and op­er­ate a coal mine in the Galilee Basin, Cen­tral Queens­land, sub­ject to strict con­di­tions,” a spokes­woman for Co-or­di­na­tor-Gen­eral Barry Broe said of the qui­etly made de­ci­sion.

The Com­mon­wealth now has to sign off on the de­ci­sion, with the project need­ing to se­cure fi­nance af­ter that.

Other ma­jor ap­provals in­clud­ing the project’s en­vi­ron­men­tal author­ity also need to be achieved be­fore it can progress.

The ap­proval is ex­pected to stir up a po­lit­i­cal hor­nets nest not just for the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment – which has dis­tanced it­self from Adani’s con­tentious Galilee coal mine plans af­ter the project threat­ened to de­rail its re-elec­tion prospects – but also Fed­eral Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten.

China stone will con­sist of one open-cut mine and three un­der­ground mines, as well as rail loop and train­load­ing fa­cil­i­ties, a power sta­tion and as­so­ci­ated power sta­tion waste stor­age fa­cil­ity, an airstrip and an ac­com­mo­da­tion vil­lage.

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