Ironbark mine gets approval
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.