A coal producer has received final approval for its proposed $1 billion coal development in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
Pembroke Resources recently received federal government approval for its Olive Downs Coking Coal Mine, 40km southeast of Moranbah.
Work can begin
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley’s decision under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act means the project has met all state and federal regulatory requirements, and major construction work can begin.
“Pembroke has met every requirement asked of the company at state and federal levels, including a commitment to contribute $1 million over 10 years to a regional environmental fund,” Federal Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister Keith Pitt said in a public statement.
“This is great news for regional jobs and businesses in the important coal mining area around Moranbah … the Olive Downs metallurgical coal mine will be part of our journey of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The project involves building an open-cut metallurgical coal mine, coal handling and preparation plant, 18 km rail spur, rail loop, raw water pipeline to the Eungella Pipeline network, private access roads, electricity transmission line, wastewater and sewage treatment plants.
The operation will be capable of producing up to 15 million tonnes per annum of product, and create at least 500 construction jobs and plus a further 1000 operational positions.
Early expressions of interest are being accepted for the 1500 jobs that will be offered. Pembroke is looking for talented, skilled and enthusiastic jobseekers to join the team. The company has committed to supporting and hiring people from the local area while at the same time considering applications from other regions.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) welcomed the latest approval for creating employment opportunities at a time when multiple proponents were downsizing their workforces.
“The announcement reinforces the role of the resources sector in Queensland’s recovery,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said in a public statement. “COVID-19 is impacting all parts of our lives and our economy.”
The Australian Resources and Energy Group (AMMA) predicts there will be a further 83 upcoming mining, oil and gas projects worth a combined $104 billion that could create 25,000 long-term jobs.
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“Many of these potential projects are now facing delays or even cancellation given the perfect storm of COVID-19 economic impacts and unexpected low prices in key commodities,” AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said.
“It is now more critical than ever to identify ways to reduce red tape and other barriers to industry development and investment which will drive jobs and economy recovery in the years following this pandemic period.”