Pembroke granted environmental approval for $1bn coal project

Pembroke Resources has received environmental authority (EA) for its Olive Downs coking coal project in Central Queensland.

The EA, granted by the Department of Environment and Science, authorises activities for Olive Downs’ 79-year mine life and provides the conditions, including environmental obligations, for the operation of the mine.

Pembroke chief executive officer Barry Tudor said the company “now looks forward to receiving federal government approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and, to the grant of its mining leases so that construction and jobs can commence”.

“The grant of the EA represents the most important milestone for the project so far and provides a clear pathway towards commencement of construction and first coal,” Tudor said.

Olive Downs, which is 100 per cent owned by Pembroke, is set to benefit from being located in the Bowen Basin with access to infrastructure, while also delivering strong environmental outcomes, according to Tudor.

“Pembroke has delivered an outstanding standard of assessment and will deliver exceptional rehabilitation outcomes in the development of Olive Downs. In addition, we have acquired a significant area of land to dedicate to environmental outcomes,” he said.

“These areas will provide for the protection of native flora and fauna habitat in perpetuity, with the environmental area increasing over the life of the mine to become significantly more area than we started with.”

The mine is expected to deliver significant economic benefits to Queensland with the creation of up to 500 jobs during construction and up to 1000 new jobs when the project reaches name plate production capacity.

In addition to employment and its contribution to the local economy, the steel-making coal project is also expected to generate billions of dollars in royalties for the Queensland Government.

The Queensland Resources Council welcomed the announcement of the EA, with chief executive Ian Macfarlane commenting that Olive Downs will be a significant contributor to royalty payments which builds infrastructure in Queensland.

“This is more good news for Queensland’s coal industry. It’s high-quality coal, close to ports and highlights the wealth of opportunities Queensland can generate from the largest exporting coking coal basin in the world, the Bowen Basin,” he said.

“The Olive Downs mine will create up to 500 jobs during construction and up to 1000 once fully operational.  The finalisation of the EA is an important next step to bring this project closer to a reality.”

The project is positioned to supply steel-making coal to global markets and has already attracted strong interest across Asia including in Japan, Korea and China, according to Pembroke.

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