Today’s approval of Queensland’s newest metallurgical coal mine between Moranbah and Dysart will create at least 150 full-time jobs and deliver a major economic boost to the Isaac and Mackay regions, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) said today.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the home-grown, Queensland company Vitrinite had invested significant time and effort exploring for coal on its Vulcan Complex project in the Bowen Basin, leading to the discovery of premium, high quality metallurgical coal seams.
Metallurgical coal, also known as coking coal, is primarily used to make steel and is currently attracting record export prices.
Mr Macfarlane said the granting of a Mining Lease for Vulcan facilitates the first four years of an expected 15-year-plus mine life, which on its own is a $160 million, nine million tonne (Mt) mine.
“During this four-year period, Vulcan will contribute an estimated $170 million in royalties to the Queensland budget which will be used to fund essential health, education and infrastructure projects,” he said.
“On top of that, the project will contribute millions of dollars to the Queensland economy through taxes and the uptake of goods and services.”
Mr Macfarlane said the community can be confident the Vulcan project had undergone rigorous regulatory assessment to establish its environmental credentials before having its Mining Lease approved.
“Queensland is widely regarded as having the strictest environmental regulations in the world, which our industry is fully committed to complying with, along with our determination to lower carbon emissions and implement sustainable mining practices,” he said.
“The Vulcan Complex mine project is also the first resources project in Queensland to have its Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plan (PRCP) approved under new legislation introduced in 2019.
“A PRCP commits mine operators to progressively rehabilitating land while the mine is operating and returning the land to its pre-mining use at the end of the project, which in this case is low-intensity cattle grazing,” he said.
“This is the future of mining and ensures Queensland resources companies can continue to operate safely and sustainably with the support of their communities and government regulators.”
Vitrinite founder and Managing Director Nick Williams said the company is grateful to be part of the Central Queensland mining community, and to be able to prove that a private, family-style business can succeed in Australia alongside some of the world’s largest companies.
“We started off small, but what began as the dream of a few, young entrepreneurs has evolved to a stage where we’re creating at least 150 full-time jobs, which will lead to more indirect jobs, and can make a significant contribution to the state economy,” Mr Williams said.
“We are a family business, and we want to continue how we’ve started, to create a company that supports family and makes people a keystone of every business function.
“When planning the Vulcan mine, and everything we do, we also put a very large focus on minimising our environmental impact, to ensure we’ll leave this land better than we found it for future generations,” he said.
“We have implemented plans to minimise water usage, reduce overburden movements, use innovative technologies and conduct progressive rehabilitation beyond our statutory requirements, so we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously.
“While this is good policy for the environment, it also translates into good business practices which will allow us to maximise the value of these resources for all Australians.”