The $1 billion Olive Downs coal mine in central Queensland which will create 1000 local jobs has been given the final approvals which means construction of the mine can now start.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs Coking Coal Project had been granted the necessary mining leases, the last of the major approvals required for the project to start building the mine.
“This means that construction activities can now start, and the company can start hiring the 500 people needed to build the mine,” the Premier said.
“My Government is delivering our plan for Queensland’s economic recovery, and the resources sector will continue to be an important part of that plan.
“The resources industry has a long future in Queensland, whether it’s metallurgical coal from the Bowen Basin, bauxite from Weipa or rare earth minerals from the North West Minerals Province.
“This project takes resources investment in Queensland over the past five years to $21 billion, creating 8000 jobs.”
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the granting of final approvals meant Pembroke could begin delivering more jobs for the Mackay region.
“Olive Downs can now proceed to deliver up to 500 construction jobs building the mine and its associated infrastructure including rail and transmission lines, water pipelines and access roads,” Ms Gilbert said.
“When at its peak production, and over its 79-year life, the mine will go on to employ up to 1000 workers in the local region, including in and around Moranbah and Dysart.”
Treasurer Cameron Dick said traditional industries play a key role in the Palaszczuk Government’s $8 billion plan to protect the jobs and businesses of Queenslanders.
“Right through the pandemic we have seen that Queensland’s traditional industries like resources and agriculture have held up well,” the Treasurer said.
“The resource industry is central to Queensland’s economic future, so right across the state it plays an important part in our plan for economic recovery.
“Our strong health response and our strong borders have positioned us well for economic recovery.”
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said preparation work for construction at Olive Downs can begin immediately.
“It’s expected core construction activities at the mine site 40km south-east of Moranbah will begin in 2021 with mining starting as soon as construction is complete,” he said.
“At its peak, Olive Downs should produce up to 15 million tonnes per annum of metallurgical coal, which will be transported by rail to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal for export to key international markets like Japan, China, India and South Korea.”
The project is expected to contribute an estimated $8 billion to the local economy and more than $10 billion to Queensland’s economy over its 79-year lifespan.
Pembroke Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Barry Tudor said the mining lease approvals were the final approval hurdle to commence the first stage of the project.
“We are extremely pleased to have been granted the mining leases, having consulted extensively with the local community over the past four years,” he said.
“In addition to our commitment to the environment, we have focused on creating local jobs and proactively engaged with all stakeholders, including establishing a strong relationship with Barada Barna, the traditional owners of the land, with whom we have an Indigenous Land Use Agreement and Cultural Heritage Management Plan in place.
“Olive Downs has already assembled the key elements required to commence construction following the grant of the mining leases, including securing access to power, water, rail and port, even as finance and offtake partners are finalised.
“Pembroke is committed to providing workers with an opportunity to live in towns near the mine including Moranbah and Dysart and is building sustainable futures for people in the communities in which Olive Downs operates.”
The Premier also released the Mackay / Whitsunday Regional Recovery Action Plan while visiting the $7 million Mackay Resources Centre of Excellence.
“This plan builds on our immediate commitment to keeping the region moving through extra support for businesses, workers and households,” the Premier said.
“This includes $10 million for the upgrade of Harrup Park ‘Great Barrier Reef Arena’ and also $1 million for a business case towards the state’s first Future Food BioHub in Mackay.” Mackay / Whitsunday Regional Recovery Action Plan initiatives includes:
- $10 million to deliver priority environment projects in the state’s Great Barrier Reef catchments in partnership with local government (up to 200 nature-based jobs)
- $10 million for the Great Barrier Reef Arena (Harrup Park) redevelopment
- TAFE upgrades – establish student-industry collaborative learning centres Bowen TAFE ($200,000) and Cannonvale TAFE ($250,000)
- $5.5 million supporting Mackay-Whitsunday small businesses – 618 grants of up to $10 000
- $11 million Mackay-Whitsunday councils – 34 maintenance and minor infrastructure projects (supporting 249 jobs)
- $9.4 million to social housing in Mackay-Whitsunday
- $1 million Future Food BioHub
- $150 million Walkerston Bypass, following opening of the $497m Mackay Ring Road
- $42 million (20/21) of $120.4m Bruce Highway (Mackay – Proserpine)
- $10 million Bowen Development Road (Collinsville – Belyando Crossing)
- $4 million (of $13m Proserpine Entertainment Centre)
- $2.9 million Bowen Neighbourhood Centre