Queensland’s Olive Downs mine steps closer to production

Pembroke Resources’ $1 billion Olive Downs coal mine near Moranbah in Queensland is getting closer to production, after receiving a coordinated project status.

Natural resources and mines minister Anthony Lynham said the independent coordinator-general could coordinate the environmental assessment process for the mine across both state and federal agencies.

“This marks the beginning of a process, including comprehensive environmental impact assessment, towards a development that could create more than 500 construction jobs a year over two years,” Lynham said.

“When the open cut mine is up and running, it could maintain up to 960 operational jobs.”

Lynham added that the mine could operate for more than 30 years and produce around 14 million tonnes of coal a year.

“Most importantly, Pembroke Resources will encourage workers to live in local towns like Moranbah, Nebo and Middlemount,” Lynham said.

When fully developed, Olive Downs could be one of the world’s largest coking mines.

The project 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; a water pipeline; and a power transmission line.

The coordinator-general is expected to release draft terms of reference for the mine’s environmental impact statement next month.

“The Queensland Government is intent on creating more jobs in the regions, but also at the forefront of our mind is protecting the environment,” Lynham said.