Wednesday 28th Oct, 2020

Billion-dollar coal mine one step closer

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A $1.5 billion coal mining project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, which could provide up to 2350 jobs, has been declared a coordinated project.

The Valeria coal mine could deliver 1400 construction jobs and 950 ongoing jobs once operational.

Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General can declare a coordinated project if it has complex approval requirements involving local, state and federal governments, significant environmental effects, a strategic significance to the region or has significant infrastructure requirements.

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said part of the State Government’s plant for its economy was to build on its traditional strengths, including 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,” Dick said.

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“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.”

Dick said local jobs were the number one priority of the Queensland 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.”

Regional Development Minister 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,” 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.”

Mines and Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said the project would represent a massive capital investment in Queensland.

“Like other mines in the Bowen Basin, this mine will produce a mix of both metallurgical and thermal coal,” Lynham said.

“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.”

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.