Pembroke Resources achieves key step toward $1bn coking coal project

Pembroke with the Barada Barna traditional owners of the land. Source: Pembroke Resources

Pembroke has achieved a major step toward developing its $1 billion Olive Downs coking coal project in the Bowen Basin in Queensland with the release of its environmental impact statement (EIS) for public comment.

The project is significantly backed by global energy and resources private equity firm Denham Capital, and was purchased from then-bankrupt Peabody Energy in 2016.

Once fully developed, the Olive Downs project will be one of the world’s largest coking coal mines for nearly 80 years.

Cameron Dick, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, said, “When the open cut mine is up and running, it could maintain an average of 1000 operational jobs and produce up to 15 million tonnes of coal per year.

“Importantly, Pembroke Resources will encourage workers to live in local towns like Moranbah, Nebo, Dysart and Middlemount and provide the necessary accommodation for them there.”

The project proposal includes coal handling and crushing facilities at the mine’s Olive Downs South and Willunga precincts; a rail link to transport coal to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal; and a water pipeline and power transmission line.

The Olive Downs project boasts JORC resources of 813Mt, including 514Mt reserves. Production is expected to commence in 2020 and will feed the demand of Asia’s steel industries.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said, “It’s high-quality coal, close to ports and is produced at a lower cost to other markets including the US.”

Pembroke has had extensive consultation with the community and stakeholders in the areas of jobs and training. Last year, the company signed on an indigenous land use agreement (ILUA) with the Barada Barna traditional owners.

Pembroke Resources chairman Barry Tudor said, “Olive Downs will be a major contributor to the state’s economy, and from the outset we have made it clear to all parties that we intend to encourage workers at the project and the mine to be part of the local community around Moranbah.”

The company owns the Iffley, Deverill and Twenty Mile properties, covering over 41,000ha, which will enable joint development for environmental offset through mining and agricultural endeavours.

The draft EIS is available online and in local libraries until October 10.

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