The $1 billion Winchester South mining project in the Bowen Basin is closer to reality with final terms of reference for the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS) released today.
Reaching this milestone allows the proponent, Whitehaven WS, to start working on a draft EIS for public consultation, and is recognised as a key part of the approval process.
Whitehaven WS proposes the Winchester South project as an open cut mine predominately for metallurgical (coking) coal, which is crucial for steelmaking.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the project, near Moranbah, is expected to deliver 500 new construction jobs and support up to 450 full-time jobs once operational.
“This mining facility could extract up to eight million tonnes of product coal each year for approximately 30 years,” Mr Dick said.
“That type of production would contribute significantly to both the local and state economy, boosting our exports and supporting communities in the region.
“These terms of reference follow public consultation and will ensure potential impacts on the natural, social and economic environment are appropriately considered.
“Whitehaven WS will now prepare a draft EIS, and once that satisfies Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General the community will have another opportunity to have their say on the project.”
Assistant State Development Minister and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the proponent would look to employ from local towns in the region, including Moranbah, Dysart and Coppabella.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act bans large resource projects like this from employing 100 per cent fly-in-fly-out workforces,” Ms Gilbert said.
If approved, it’s estimated construction of the project would commence in 2021, with the first extraction of coal proposed for 2023.
View the final terms of reference.
Learn more about the Winchester South project.