Fossil fuel production will jump in Queensland’s Isaac and Darling Downs regions.
Bowen Coking Coal (BCB) recently confirmed it reopened the newly acquired Burton Coal Mine, 165km southwest of Mackay.
“Coal processing has commenced and is expected to ramp up over coming months, initially washing the significant run-of-mine stockpiles of Broadmeadow East coal (about 350 kilo tonnes) which the company has built up in advance of the Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) reopening,” the company said in its latest quarterly report.
The site, formerly owned by New Hope Corporation, restarted production after being in care and maintenance since late 2016.
BCB employees and contractors are now refurbishing a second module at the CHPP as well as the skyline conveyor system at the train loadout facility (TLO). Work is expected to end before 31 December 2023 after which CHPP capacity is promised to jump to 5.5 million tonnes per annum.
The proponent has already finished refurbishing the accommodation village, Mallawa TLO and CHPP’s first module.
“The program was completed within budget estimates and accuracies previously announced to the market,” it said in the report.
Meanwhile New Hope separately opened its New Acland Coal Stage 3 Expansion, 53km northwest of Toowoomba. Top soil removal was underway with more than 100 workers mobilised at the time of publication.
When the project ramps-up a total of 600 workers will be required. Prospective contractors and suppliers are also needed.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) welcomed more coal production, and urged the State Government to reconsider new tiered royalty rates of up to 40 per cent once the average coal price per tonne exceeds $300.
“It is great to be here at the Burton mine but the fact remains this investment decision was made before the Queensland Government’s shock royalty increase,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said in a public statement.
“Queenslanders should be in no doubt there will be fewer jobs and less investment in the future because we now have the highest royalty rates in the world, which has seriously undermined our sector’s international competitiveness.”