Public opinion sought for Byerwen mine

The Queensland government is seeking public feedback on the proposed $1.5 million Byerwen coal mine in the state.

Draft terms of reference were released for the $1.5 billion coal mine on Friday, which could produce up to 10 million tonnes of metallurgical coking coal per annum for 50 years.

In March the mine was declared a ‘significant project’ and was welcomed by the Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade Andrew Fraser, who now says the feedback from the public will be used for the environmental impact statement (EIS).

“The Byerwen coal project proposes a mine located at a greenfield site approximately 140km west of Mackay, near the mining townships of Collinsville and Glenden,” Fraser said.

“The $1.5billion project could produce up to 10million tonnes per annum over 50 years of high-quality, metallurgical coking coal primarily for the Japanese and Asian export markets.”

Fraser said last month that the project is expected to create up to 500 jobs during construction and 1000 when up and running.

“If approved, this will be a substantial investment for Queensland and will secure the long-term future of surrounding townships,” he said.

The joint project between QCoal and Japan-based JFE Steel is expected to have a lifespan of 50 years and export primarily to Asian markets.

“This project would be both an open-cut coalmine and an underground mine, and would use existing rail facilities to move the coal to the export terminal at Abbot Point.

“Construction of the mine could commence as early as 2012 following state and federal approvals.”

Due to the scale, potential effects and complexity of the project, the co-ordinator-general Keith Davies, who released the terms of reference (TOR) said a rigorous EIS is needed.

He said those with an interest in the project can view draft Byerwan Coal project TOR at
Co-ordinator-General Keith Davies, who released the terms of reference (TOR), said the scale, potential effects and complexity of project approvals required a rigorous and lodge any submissions by emailing by 5pm on May 16.


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