New Hope Group has received the final federal approval that it requires to move ahead with stage three of the New Acland coal project in Queensland.
The federal government gave the nod to New Hope’s groundwater management and monitoring plan, which New Hope chief executive Reinhold Schmidt said was a vital piece of the overall puzzle.
The approval verifies that New Hope will have manageable impacts on groundwater in the area of the New Acland stage three project.
Schmidt said the plan and its associated modelling had been “thoroughly reviewed” by four state and commonwealth regulatory regimes as well as independent experts including the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia.
“All that is stopping the project now is the granting of our mining leases and the associated water licence from the Queensland state government,” Schmidt said.
“It was great to see the new minister (Scott Stewart) use his first speech in the Queensland Parliament to talk up the importance of the sector to the state economy.
“I am looking forward to meeting the minister in the near future to work with him on a way forward for the project.”
New Hope expects to create 187 jobs within the first six months of the New Acland stage three operations and 487 jobs within 18 months.
The company has been seeking approval to expand its New Acland mine for over 12 years.