​New coal mine approved in Galilee Basin

AMCI and Bandanna Energy’s South Galilee coal project has been given the greenlight by the QLD Government.

It is expected to create around 1600 new jobs in the region, with about 1300 fulltime positions once the mine is operational.

According to the miner it is committed to hiring local people, and considering a bus in, bus out option for workers from Emerald, as well as FIFO options for workers from other regional centres.

There have been 110 conditions placed on the operation to avoid or mitigate potential environmental impacts.

The mine, located only 12 kilometres from the town of Alpha and 180 kilometres west of Emerald, is the fifth to be approved in the region.

Indian conglomerate the Adani Group have plans for a $10 billion project, while GVK-Hancock, a joint venture between Gina Rinehart's Hancock Coal and Indian conglomerate GVK and Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal are also vying to build coal mines in the region.

The joint venture project will be both an open cut and underground complex, producing around 17 million tonnes of coal annually, over a mine life of approximately 35 years.

It has a JORC compliant resource of 982 million tonnes.

The project will be delivered in three stages: The first is the open cut Epsilon stage where coal where coal will be transported on the Central Western Railway for export through the Port of Gladstone. For stages two and three, coal will be transported on a common user railway to the Port of Abbot Point.

QLD deputy premier Jeff Seeney welcomed the QLD’s Coordinator’s- General decision.

“This is another step forward for the Galilee Basin and follows Alpha Coal, Kevin’s Corner, Galilee Coal Project and Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project receiving both State and Federal Government approvals,” Seeney said.

“The Newman LNP Government has been working hard to facilitate the investment required to open up the Galilee Basin.”

Late last month the QLD Government promised to set up a fund to help new coal mines in the Galilee Basin.

Despite concerns around coal prices and the transport of resources to ports, QLD premier Campbell Newman said he was "very bullish" about the Galilee’s development and said the biggest threat to the region was the approvals process.

"We have to get out of this mindset that taking five, six, seven years to approve a major resource project is acceptable," he said.

"It's not, and it doesn't give a better environmental outcome than something that takes a couple of years to do.”

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