Green light for new mine
Central Queensland project up 4000 construction jobs
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.