A $1.5 billion coal mining project in central Queensland’s Bowen Basin, which could provide up to 2350 jobs, is a step closer to being realised.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the new Valeria coal mine could deliver 1400 construction jobs and 950 ongoing jobs once operational after it was declared a coordinated project by Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General.
“Queensland has a plan for our economy to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs,” the Treasurer said.
“Part of that is building on our traditional strengths like the resources industry.
“This new mine has the potential to create hundreds of new jobs as Queensland recovers from the extraordinary shock of the global coronavirus pandemic.
“Projects like this are a vote of confidence in Queensland’s future as a diversified economy.
“We will keep rolling out our plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs.”
The Treasurer said local jobs were the number one priority of the Palaszczuk Government.
“Queensland has been spared some of the worst impacts of the COVID downturn,” he said.
“That is thanks in no small part to some of our traditional industries like mining and agriculture, that have been able to keep Queenslanders employed and their markets sustained through these troubled times.
“Coal mining has a long history in Queensland and will continue to be a major industry for many years to come.
“It’s so vital we keep things moving along in Queensland, despite the current restrictions, and this decision by the Coordinator-General means there will be a long pipeline of work ahead.”
Minister for Regional Development Glenn Butcher said the coordinated project declaration will help get jobs happening earlier.
“While the coronavirus pandemic is putting pressure on our economy, this project shows that major companies are still keen to invest and back jobs,” Mr Butcher said.
“Through my department of Regional Development, we are working with industry stakeholders to support economic recovery and major projects like this show Queensland business there will be many opportunities in the future.”
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the announcement would help central Queensland bounce back from the impacts of COVID-19.
“We are a strong, resilient and hardworking community, so this news will be welcome to families throughout the region as we work towards economic recovery,” Ms Lauga said.
Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the project would represent a massive capital investment in Queensland.
“Our resources sector is continuing to support the economy and provide jobs for Queenslanders who are facing uncertain times during this coronavirus pandemic,” Dr Lynham said.
“Like other mines in the Bowen Basin, this mine will produce a mix of both metallurgical and thermal coal.
“Coal from this mine will be used to make steel that will be vital for the global economy as it recovers from COVID-19.
“Steel is critical for construction, but it’s also used for key elements of a renewable energy future like solar panels, wind farms, batteries and electric vehicles.
“The mine’s proponent, Glencore, has advised any thermal coal produced by the new mine will be subject to the company’s cap on thermal coal output, to support global transition to a low carbon economy.
“This comes on top of Arrow Energy’s commitment to the first phase of its $10 billion gas project in the Surat Basin.”
The proponent will be required to prepare a comprehensive environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project, and the Coordinator-General will undertake a rigorous assessment of all environmental, social and economic impacts, including extensive community consultation.
Any environmental values in the project area will be subject to rigorous scientific analysis to understand the feasibility of any impacts proceeding.
The Coordinator-General will now prepare draft terms of reference for the EIS and invite the community to have their say on the requirements for the EIS.