Wednesday 28th Oct, 2020

Final approvals granted for billion-dollar Olive Downs coal mine

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Construction on the $1 billion Olive Downs coal mine can now begin, following the Central Queensland project being granted final approvals.

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. It is also expected to create 1000 jobs in the region.

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,” Palaszczuk said.

“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.

Related stories:

“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,” 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.”

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said traditional industries play a key role in the Queensland 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,” he 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 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,” Lynham 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.”

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.

“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,” Tudor said.

“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.”