Central Queensland residents are invited to have their say on Queensland’s latest coal mine proposal – the $1 billion Olive Downs mine near Moranbah – with the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public comment.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, said the proposed project would create an average of 500 jobs a year during construction and be an economic driver for local communities.
“Pembroke Olive Downs Pty Ltd proposes to develop an open cut metallurgical coal mine in the Bowen Basin,” Mr Dick said.
“When the open cut mine is up and running, it could maintain an average of 1000 operational jobs and produce up to 15 million tonnes of coal per year.
“Importantly, Pembroke Resources will encourage workers to live in local towns like Moranbah, Nebo, Dysart and Middlemount and provide the necessary accommodation for them there, which is exactly what our government’s Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act is all about.
“Metallurgical or coking coal is used to make steel, a critical component of many aspects of the modern economy used widely in the automotive, construction and manufacturing sectors and in everyday items like motor vehicles, toasters, fridges and bridges.
“The resources sector is fundamental to jobs and business opportunities, particularly in our regional communities, and rigorous but also timely environmental assessment processes are important to keeping this vital industry sustainable.”
Fully developed, the complex 40 kilometres south east of Moranbah will be one of the largest metallurgical coal mines in the world.
The project proposal includes:
- coal handling and crushing facilities at the mine’s Olive Downs South and Willunga precincts
- a rail link to transport coal to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal
- a water pipeline and power transmission line.
Mr Dick said the Coordinator-General’s environmental assessment process provides an integrated and rigorous assessment of major projects.
“As the name suggests, all feedback and comments from agencies and the public are coordinated and considered in one overall assessment of the project’s impacts and benefits,” he said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is intent on creating more jobs in the regions, but also at the forefront of our mind is protecting the environment.
“The independent Coordinator-General has reviewed the draft EIS and has determined that it is satisfactory to release for comment.
“The public are now invited to make a submission on the draft EIS.”
Isaac region Mayor Anne Baker said the mineral resources were helping to support local communities in her region.
“The Isaac region is responsible for producing more than half of the State’s saleable coal and we are currently experiencing a resurgence in the sector, with strong demand for our world-class coal,” Cr Barker said.
“The coking coal to be produced from the Olive Downs Complex will be a crucial component in global steel production in the decades to come. Our region is feeding, powering and building communities.
“Isaac Regional Council continues to be supportive of responsible mining developments which deliver positive benefits for our local communities and residents.”
The proposed mine would be midway between Moranbah and Dysart and includes an 18 kilometre rail spur to the Norwich Park Branch railway, a water pipeline connecting to the existing Eungella Pipeline, an electricity transmission line and access roads. The project was declared a coordinated project in February 2017.
The draft EIS is available online and in local libraries for public comment until 10 October 2018.