New Hope still in limbo over New Acland expansion

Jeebropilly mine employees. Image: New Hope.

New Hope Group is yet to receive the Queensland Government’s approval for the New Acland stage three (NAC03) mining project after it was forced to cut jobs at the site.

The company axed about 150 jobs at the end of October last year, followed by a restructure to operations in November.

After the restructure, most activities at the Darling Downs, Queensland site have been reduced to during the day shift, with mining truck fleet numbers reduced and coal processing operations diminished from a two module plant operation to just one.

“As a result of the lack of action from the Queensland Government in relation to progressing approvals for NAC03, approximately 150 full time roles had to be cut from the New Acland mine,” New Hope stated in a media release.

“During the ramp down, the primary focus was on maintaining safe operations and supporting those valued employees who had lost their jobs.”

While the struggle at the New Acland mine continues, New Hope has experienced a small boost from production at the Bengalla mine in New South Wales.

New Hope produced 5.4 million tonnes at Bengalla during the last six months of 2019, compared with 4.5 million tonnes during the prior corresponding period.

The company also drilled 6046 metres at the Bengalla lease and Bee Creek exploration tenement in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, focussing on collecting pre-production and gas content information prior to mining.

It was the end of an era for New Hope’s Jeebropilly coal mine in South East Queensland’s Moreton Basin.

After 38 years of operation, the mine headed to a closure in December last year.

Following New Hope’s Fit for Change program, the team at Jeebropilly achieved good safety and production performance during its last quarter of operations, and employees “generated a positive outlook despite the closure of the mine.”

New Hope is now focussed on the environmental restoration of Jeebropilly as it continues rehabilitation activities at Oakleigh East and starts the re-establishment of the Normanton Pit.

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