Media reports that BHP Billiton has postponed the Caval Ridge coal coking mine in the Bowen Basin are completely unfounded, a spokesperson told MINING DAILY.
The Australian reported yesterday that the company had pushed back production at the $4 billion mine from 2011 to 2013 as a result of slowing steel demand and production cutbacks.
The spokesperson said the reports stemmed from a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that was submitted to the Queensland Government.
The draft EIS estimated that production would start by 2013, pending approval.
The expectation that production would be online by 2011 was only preliminary, the spokesperson said.
“Because the project is yet to be approved by the Government, there has never been a firm date set aside that could be postponed,” the spokesperson said.
The company has submitted a draft EIS to the Government for feedback.
After it has been revised, the statement will be resubmitted for approval and public scrutiny.
The draft EIS was made available for public comment on 11 July on the company’s website.
The Caval Ridge coal mine is owned by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA).
According to the company, the mine will produce 5.5 million tonnes of coal per year and employ around 500 people.