New Wilkie Energy has begun ramping up its workforce to restart the Wilkie Creek coal mine in Queensland, in a project that merges coal with renewable energy.
The mine, 200 kilometres west of Brisbane, was acquired from Peabody Energy which has continued to rehabilitate the surrounding land to make way for a large-scale renewable energy project.
The coal mine has a resource over 1.2 billion tonnes with existing train loading, rail to port, electricity, water and roads facilities from the previous operator.
The mine previously operated for 20 years, selling Newcastle-quality thermal coal to Japan, Taiwan and Korea before shutting down in 2013, and has been in care and maintenance since.
Plans to restart are scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.
This would come alongside a 400-megawatt solar farm and 200-megawatt wind farm from as early as 2023.
Western Downs Regional Council mayor Paul McVeigh said the mine and energy park would greatly develop the area’s credentials in energy creation.
“The Western Downs is earning its place as an energy production powerhouse and this new venture by New Wilkie Energy adds to our expanding industry offerings,” McVeigh said.
“Council is always welcoming of opportunities to attract new investment opportunities, build our local workforce and create a stronger, more sustainable economy for the region.”
New Wilkie Energy managing director Gary Williams said the mine was well prepared to start producing coal and energy in 2022.
“We are impressed with the excellent job Peabody has done over the years in rehabilitation and maintenance of the site and are excited by the prospect of commencing production from this high-quality coal asset,” Williams said.
“Phase two will see the facilitation, development and operation of utility scale renewable energy projects leveraging from the mining assets, operation and land rehabilitation to generate green energy.”