Iron­bark mine gets ap­proval

The Australian Mining Review - - NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI

FITZROY Aus­tralia Re­sources has re­ceived the green light from the QLD Gov­ern­ment to de­velop its Iron­bark No. 1 coal mine in the Bowen Basin, QLD.

The 6 mil­lion tonne per an­num (mtpa) un­der­ground long­wall cok­ing coal project, formerly owned by Vale and known as El­lens­field, was pur­chased by US-backed Fitzroy Aus­tralia Re­sources in Novem­ber 2016.

With min­ing leases granted, the project was now sched­uled to en­ter pro­duc­tion in 2020, and op­er­ate for an es­ti­mated 20 years.

The project would be a “low im­pact de­vel­op­ment”, shar­ing ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture with Fitzroy Aus­tralia’s nearby Car­bor­ough Downs mine.

Fitzroy Aus­tralia Re­sources chief ex­ec­u­tive Grant Pol­warth said the ap­proval en­abled it to pur­sue its ex­pan­sion in the re­gion, and would pro­vide on­go­ing lo­cal jobs – 160 dur­ing con­struc­tion, and up to 350 po­si­tions once op­er­a­tional.

“Iron­bark No. 1 will be a mod­ern and in­no­va­tive un­der­ground op­er­a­tion,” Mr Pol­warth said.

“At Fitzroy, we pride our­selves on be­ing a peo­ple busi­ness that mines coal, and the con­struc­tion of Iron­bark No.1 will see that vi­sion con­tin­ued.”

On 13 Novem­ber, the com­pany awarded NRW Hold­ings sub­sidiary Gold­ing Con­trac­tors an Early Con­trac­tor In­volve­ment (ECI) con­tract for the project, which in­cluded de­tailed de­sign, cost­ing, and project sched­ul­ing for the civil and min­ing ser­vices.

Mr Pol­warth said the agree­ment marked an­other “im­por­tant mile­stone” for Iron­bark No. 1.

“This agree­ment with Gold­ing is an im­por­tant step to­ward con­struc­tion and ul­ti­mately re­al­is­ing our vi­sion for a mod­ern and in­no­va­tive Iron­bark No. 1 coal mine,” he said.

“The agree­ment fol­lows the safe, ef­fi­cient and highly suc­cess­ful Broadlea min­ing project and is a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion of the grow­ing part­ner­ship be­tween Fitzroy and Gold­ing.”

QLD mines min­is­ter Dr An­thony Lyn­ham said most of the coal pro­duced would be low-ash hard cok­ing coal used in steel pro­duc­tion.

“Iron­bark No. 1 comes on top of the 13 com­mit­ted re­sources projects in QLD with a com­bined cap­i­tal value of more than $9.4 bil­lion across mul­ti­ple com­modi­ties,” Dr Lyn­ham said.

“An­other 42 projects are at fea­si­bil­ity stage, with a com­bined cap­i­tal value of more than $65 bil­lion, again, across mul­ti­ple com­modi­ties.”

QLD Re­sources Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Macfar­lane said the ap­proval was an ex­am­ple of the QLD Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to de­vel­op­ing the State’s rich min­er­als prov­ince.

He said the State’s sec­tor now pro­vided one in ev­ery six dol­lars in the QLD econ­omy.

“Re­sources are a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to Queens­land’s econ­omy cre­at­ing a job ev­ery 40 min­utes, in­vest­ing $1 mil­lion ev­ery hour and ex­port­ing $1 bil­lion each week,” Mr Macfar­lane said.

Image:FitzroyAus­trali­aRe­sources. Iron­bark No.1 was about 30 kilo­me­tres north-east of Mo­ran­bah and 125 kilo­me­tres south-west of Mackay.

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