A multinational conglomerate received the nod to proceed with a fossil fuel development in Queensland’s Central Highlands region.
The Sungela joint venture (JV) has received federal environmental approval for its recently purchased Ensham Coal Expansion, 258km west of Rockhampton.
JV partners South African Thungela, Swiss-headquartered Audley Energy and Brisbane-based Mayfair will be permitted to extend current underground bord and pillar operations.
Existing roads, rail, mine infrastructure and other underground and surface facilities, systems and equipment will be used to continue producing 5.3M tonnes per annum (tpa) of coal. The proponent still has the option of ramping up production to 12M tpa run of mine coal under the current environmental authority. QMEB can reveal the deal is worth $314.9M.
“[This will] enable the extension of the Ensham mine by up to nine years with sufficient coal reserves to approximately 2037 … [and] extend the Ensham mine underground operation to the west, encompassing a new mining lease area (referred to as Zone 1) by developing a portion of MDL 217,” former owner Idemitsu said in the project description.
Federal Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek revealed the approval, which expires at the end of 2045, comes with several regulatory requirements.
“The approval holder must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the other person is informed of any conditions attached to this approval, and that the other person complies with any such conditions,” she said in the notification of approval.
The proponent recently advertised multiple permanent deputy / ERZ controller positions at the mine site. An “attractive” salary package, roster of seven days on seven days off plus fly-in fly-out or drive-in drive-out (DIDO) options are available.
Camp accommodation, meals, company-paid flights between Brisbane and Emerald and annual performance bonuses will be offered. Residential or DIDO applicants are eligible for local living allowances.