The Queensland Government has backed Stanmore Coal’s Isaac Downs project near Moranbah by naming it a prescribed project for the state.
The Isaac Downs project will provide long-term employment at Stanmore’s existing Isaac Plains mining complex, transferring 220 workers to the new mine.
The construction phase will also create 250 new jobs and the new mine an additional 80 new jobs once operational.
The Isaac Downs open cut metallurgical coal development is expected to produce a total of approximately 35 million tonnes of run of mine coal over 16 years.
Stanmore Coal chief executive Craig McCabe welcomed the government’s endorsement of Isaac Downs by declaring it as a prescribed project.
“The prescribed project declaration will assist in securing timely approvals for the project, whilst providing high standards of environmental protection,” McCabe said.
“The project will enhance ongoing employment and community opportunities in the local district in a business environment affected by COVID-19.”
Stanmore is set to begin construction at the Isaac Downs project next year, subject to necessary approvals.
The company submitted an environmental impact statement (EIS) to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science in January, in a process that will involve reviews and public submissions.
Queensland Minister for Regional Development Glenn Butcher noted the project’s important role in boosting the Queensland economy post COVID-19.
“As we implement Queensland’s plan to strengthen our economy in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, projects like this have the potential to play an important role for regional Queensland,” Butcher said.
“Pending all necessary approvals and Stanmore Coal’s business plans, project construction could begin as soon as early 2021, with the mine possibly becoming operational in mid to late 2021.
“Project proponent Stanmore Coal estimates the economic contribution generated by Isaac Downs for the region will be $2.5 billion over its anticipated 16-year life.”
The Isaac Downs project is also anticipated to generate $457.9 million in economic contributions to the wider Queensland.
According to Butcher, the prescribed project status enables the coordinator-general to work alongside Stanmore to ensure project approvals are obtained in a timely manner.