A proposed BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Coal Operations’ mine extension has been declared a coordinated project by Queensland’s State Coordinator-General.
The proposal includes an extension of three longwall panels in the Broadmeadow underground as well as future, incremental expansion of the Goonyella Riverside Mine.
Coordinated projects are projects deemed to be of economic, social or environmental significance to the state.
Proponents are usually required to submit an environmental impact statement [EIS] for evaluation by the coordinator general.
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker yesterday welcomed the news saying the extensions will bring employment opportunities to the Mooranbah region.
“We welcome this development and BMAs potential to employ more than 2000 people during the peak construction phase and up to 1500 during the peak operation phase,” Baker said.
She said the projects will also have a positive flow on affect to mining service industries.
“We also look forward to the increase in employment opportunities for those in the transport industry and goods and services’ supply,” Baker said.
The proposal would also allow for future development of the Red Hill underground mine, located east of the Riverside Mine.
Baker said she hopes BMA looks to employ locals if the project is approved.
“The last two BMA developments were 100 per cent FIFO with source communities being Cairns and Brisbane,” she said.
“While Council is not naive enough to expect the total employment numbers to be sourced locally, some would be a huge benefit.
“If the project is approved, with the potential to create significant employment opportunities and produce an additional 14million tonnes of high-quality, hard coking coal a year for more than a 20-year life span, the local region should benefit economically and socially.
“While we welcome long-term investments like this, we want to see all Queenslanders share the returns of the resource’ sector.”