Cameby Downs coal mine gets state nod for massive expansion

Yancoal Australia has received approval from the Queensland Government for its planned expansion of the Cameby Downs thermal coal mine.

The Darling Downs-based mine started production in 2010. Yancoal Australia manages the mine, which is operated by Syntech Resources, a subsidiary of Yancoal Australia shareholder Yanzhou Coal Mining Company.

Cameby Downs consists of an open cut mine, coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) and related infrastructure.

The operation was previously approved to extract up to 2.8 million tonnes of run-of-mine (ROM) coal a year over a 45-year period, but this has now been increased to 3.5 million tonnes a year over a 75-year period.

Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham referred to the extension as a “vote of confidence” in the state’s resources by Yancoal.

“For Western Downs communities like Miles and Chinchilla, it means greater opportunities for the current and future generations of locals to benefit from a strong resources sector in their region,” Lynham said.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) stated the extension of the mine life helped to confirm a long-term role for coal in the Surat Basin, with the resources sector accounting for about 10 per cent of the Western Downs Regional Council area’s gross product.

“Whether it is the government-owned Kogan Creek mine, Cameby Downs, other existing mines in the Surat and Bowen basins or those proposed in the Galilee Basin, Queensland depends upon them,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“Coal currently delivers $43.4 billion or 13 per cent of the state’s gross regional product and more than 215,000 or nine per cent of full-time equivalent jobs in Queensland.”

Cameby Downs’ new production target of 3.5 million tonnes a year a 25 per cent increase on the previous annual rate is expected to be achieved within the next year.

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