Whitehaven moves Winchester South towards approval

A geologist sampling coal at Winchester South. Image: Whitehaven Coal

Whitehaven Coal’s $1 billion Winchester South metallurgical coal project in Queensland remains on track after the state government released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS).

Submissions are being encouraged on the draft EIS for the mine which is located 30 kilometres southeast of Moranbah.

The mine has the potential to create 1000 new jobs in Central Queensland.

Winchester South is expected to produce up to 11 million tonnes per annum of high-quality metallurgical coal for steel manufacturing over a 30-year mine life.

It comes just days after Stanmore Resources announced their $82 million extension to their Isaac Plains Mining Complex near Moranbah, supporting up to 550 jobs.

The open cut Winchester South coal mine is forecast to create 500 construction jobs and 500 operational jobs once approved.

Whitehaven Coal managing director and chief executive officer Paul Flynn welcomed the release of the EIS.

“Since acquiring Winchester South in 2018, our team has developed a detailed project design that capitalises on the site’s position in a well-established coal region,” Flynn said.

“As our first development in Queensland, we’ve built productive relationships with the community, local council, the Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation, government, and other stakeholders, all of whom have been critical to developing the proposal.

“This project will support ongoing economic development in regional Queensland and importantly in the customer countries where the product will be used.

“We encourage any interested parties to have a say as part of this public notification process.”

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the mine will create more than $500 million in royalties which will be spent on Queensland schools, hospitals, and roads, as the government continues to implement its COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

“This project will be a massive jobs and business boost for Central Queensland and the Isaac region particularly, with those benefits extending east to Mackay,” Stewart said.

“Whitehaven Coal has a strong record of local employment and is committed to maintaining local employment here in Queensland.

“Ongoing investment in our resources sector continues to underpin Queensland’s economic recovery plan and prove that Queensland is the place to be when it comes to resources investment.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert welcomed the next stage of the approvals process.

“This project has the potential to make a major contribution to not only Mackay but also the region and the state,” she said.

“The resources industry is a key part of Mackay and people and businesses throughout the city benefit from a strong mining sector.”

“It’s important people can have their say on this job creating project for the region.”

Submissions are open until September 15 and the finalised EIS will then be provided to the Queensland and Australian Governments for examination.

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