Coal, News, Project approval

Queensland coal mine gets approval

The Federal Government has given its approval for thermal coal to be mined at Ensham in Queensland for a further nine years.

Located 40km north-east of Emerald, Queensland, the mine was first owned by Japanese oil giant Idemitsu, before it transferred its 85 per cent interest to South African energy company subsidiary Sungela.

Swiss investment group Audley Energy and Australian Mayfair Corporations Group each earned a 12.5 per cent stake from the acquisition.

The mine is the first thermal coal project approved by the Federal Government since it was elected in 2022. It is set produce 4.5 million tonnes of coal annually.

According to the project overview, the mine will produce an estimated 39 million tonnes of thermal coal throughout its life in an export value of $3.66 billion.

The mine currently has a workforce of approximately 600 people including employees and contractors and has a current production level of 5.3 million tonnes per annum.

While some parties have criticised the decision, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said the approval was made in accordance with the current environmental laws.

“The Federal government has to make decisions in accordance with the facts and the ­national environment law – that’s what happens on every project, and that’s what’s happened here,” a spokeswoman for Plibersek said.

Idemitsu maintained that the mine maintains a strong commitment to the environment.

“Ensham maintains a strong commitment to the environment and the local community where we operate and we actively engage with local businesses, landowners and government in order to meet stakeholder expectations,” the company said.

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