Colton mine postponed, deadline moves to August

The Colton mine in southern Queensland faces more delays after the deadline for tendering a new environmental management plan was pushed back until August.

The first environmental management plan was rejected in 2010 after the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection refused to approve it, Fraser Coast Chronicle reports.

Many extensions have been given since then but the mine’s owners have still not submitted a completed plan.

The environmental assessment report is an important step towards getting mine approval by the department but has been a sticking point for the mine’s owners, Northern Energy Corporation.

But an NEC representative said the delays would not prevent the mine from going ahead.

“NEC is continuing to work through the environmental management conditions that would apply to the project, with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection,” the representative said.

“NEC is committed to obtaining all environmental and mining approvals necessary for the Colton Project.”

The mine went into a holding pattern in December, with equipment removed from the site as the company waited for government approvals.

NEC expected a decision in February last year and hoped to open the mine early this year but the environmental department wanted more information regarding biodiversity offsets before passing a verdict.

The site north of Maryborough is more than 1000 hectares and is predicted to generate about five million tonnes of coking coal over eight to 10 years.

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