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More details revealed for $1B Bowen Basin mine

Whitehaven Coal workers
Whitehaven Coal workers

An emerging force in the industry has revealed more details on its $1 billion coal project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Draft terms of reference have been released for the environmental impact statement about Whitehaven Coal’s Winchester South Coal Mine, 31 km south of Moranbah.

The draft terms outline the proponent’s plan to build an open-cut metallurgical coal mine that can produce up to eight million tonnes of product coal per annum to support steel-making.

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Mining infrastructure needed

There will also need to be workshops, a coal handling and preparation plant, rail loop, train load out facility, private access road, raw water pipeline to the Eungella pipeline network, electricity transmission line and on-site temporary construction accommodation camp. The mine is expected to have a lifespan of about 30 years.

The project will employ up to 500 workers during the two-year construction phase, which is expected to start in the year 2021, and support 450 full-time staff once operational.

Plan to hire local workers

Most of the workers will be employed from nearby regional towns including Moranbah, Dysart and Coppabella. Queensland law prevents this major project from just hiring fly-in fly-out workers.

“Our government’s Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act … prevents large resource projects from employing 100 per cent fly-in-fly-out workforces,” Assistant State Development Minister and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said in a public statement.

Queensland Coordinator-General Barry Broe will accept public comment on the project until 19 July 2019.

Click here to view the draft terms of reference.

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